Recherchepapier

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Recherchepapier
MehrWert AusTausch
Ein Projekt zur Stärkung des europäischen Fachaustauschs
für eine nachhaltige Engagementinfrastruktur
Recherchepapier
zum Europäischen Fachworkshop Engagementinfrastruktur
am 27. Januar 2015 im Deutschen Bundestag Berlin (Unter den Linden 71)
Kontakt:
Das Projekt wird gefördert vom:
Bundesnetzwerk Bürgerschaftliches Engagement (BBE)
Mirko Schwärzel (Projektleiter)
Tel (030) 629 80 119
[email protected]
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Inhalt
1. Einführung
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2. Engagementinfrastruktur im europäischen Vergleich
4
Begriffsbestimmungen
4
Bezug der Infrastrukturdebatte zu staatlichen Engagementstrategien
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Das Volunteer Centre als Idealtypus einer Engagementinfrastruktureinrichtung
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Organisationsstrategien
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3. Länderberichte
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3.1 Deutschland
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3.2 Dänemark
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3.3 England
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3.4 Italien
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3.5 Niederlande
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4. Literatur und Ressourcen
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1. Einführung
Engagement unterstützende Einrichtungen, die sogenannte Engagementinfrastruktur, erfüllen als
Mittler, Bewerber, Informierer und Vernetzer wichtige Funktionen in der Förderung des bürgerschaftlichen Engagements Zu recht werden sie daher in ganz Europa als unverzichtbare Bestandteile
einer aktiven Bürgergesellschaft wahrgenommen. So unterschiedlich die Engagementinfrastruktur
sich auch in den jeweiligen nationalen Kontexten entwickelt hat, so vergleichbar sind die aktuellen
Herausforderungen für die Einrichtungen heute.
Dieses Recherchepapier ist im Rahmen des Projektes „MehrWert AusTausch - Ein Projekt zur Stärkung des europäischen Fachaustauschs für eine nachhaltige Engagementinfrastruktur“ zwischen Oktober und Dezember 2014 erarbeitet worden. Es untersucht die unterschiedlichen Begriffsverständnisse, Strukturen, rechtlichen Rahmenbedingungen, Finanzierungsmodelle und Organisationsstrategien Engagement unterstützender Einrichtungen.
Ausgangspunkt der Recherche waren dabei die zentralen Fragestellungen der deutschen Debatte.
Diese beziehen sich zum einen auf die Entwicklung von Kooperationsstrategien der sehr unterschiedlichen Einrichtungen auf kommunaler Ebene. In dieser Hinsicht war es eine wichtige Leitfrage der
Recherche, wie solche Kooperationen in anderen Ländern aussehen und wie sie von der Politik unterstützt bzw. erschwert werden. Ein zweiter wichtiger Punkt ist die zukünftige Finanzierung der Engagementinfrastruktur. Ein in diesem Jahr neu aufgestellter Fonds von BMFSFJ und Engagement fördernden Stiftungen, das Programm „Engagierte Stadt“, setzt förderstrategisch an solchen Kooperationen an. In der Diskussion steht zudem der Aufbau einer möglichen Bundesstiftung, die speziell die
Aufgabe einer nachhaltigen engagementfördernden Infrastruktur verfolgt. Dafür werden explizit
Beispiele anderer europäischer Länder dargestellt.
Die Recherche gliedert sich in zwei Teile: Zuerst werden grundlegende Fragen der Engagementinfrastruktur im europäischen Vergleich aufgegriffen: Begriffsbestimmung, Funktionen, rechtliche und
finanzielle Rahmenbedingungen. Diese Informationen sind einschlägigen Studien und Fachbeiträgen
der vergangenen Jahre entnommen und strukturiert aufgearbeitet. Im nachfolgenden Teil werden
neben Deutschland vier weitere ausgewählte Länder im Detail untersucht.
Die Rechercheergebnisse wurden am 27. Januar 2015 im Rahmen des Europäischen Fachworkshops
Enagagementinfrastruktur in Berlin mit deutschen und europäischen Experten diskutiert mit dem
Ziel, Transferpotentiale guter Förder- und Unterstützungsbeispiele zu identifizieren und einen vertiefenden transnationalen Fachaustausch für eine nachhaltige Engagementinfrastruktur anzuregen. Die
Ergebnisse dieses Fachworkshops wurden in einer Dokumentation veröffentlicht und sind über die
Projektseite auf der BBE-Internetplattform zugänglich. Das Bundesnetzwerk Bürgerschaftliches Engagement wird die Ergebnisse weiterhin in den Fachdiskurs einbringen.
Mirko Schwärzel
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2. Engagementinfrastruktur im europäischen Vergleich
Begriffsbestimmungen
Der Begriff der Engagement- bzw. Freiwilligeninfrastruktur beinhaltet auf dem größten gemeinsamen
Nenner in allen Verständnissen der internationalen Fachdebatte die Summe der Strukturen und
Funktionen, die zur Förderung des freiwilligen Engagements beitragen. Die umfassendste und meist
zitierte Definition geht auf das Internationale Freiwilligenjahr zurück: Freiwilligeninfrastruktur umfasse alle Systeme, Mechanismen und Instrumente zur Sicherstellung einer engagementfreundlichen
Umwelt (vgl. UNV 2005)1.
Bei einer näheren Betrachtung insbesondere der verschiedenen Begriffsverständnisse auf nationaler
Ebene ergeben sich gleichwohl zahlreiche Unterschiede bei dem, was unter diesen Systemen, Mechanismen und Instrumenten verstanden wird und wie diese konkret ausgestaltet sind. Das European
Volunteer Centre (CEV) hat einen solchen europäischen Vergleich zum ersten Mal im Rahmen der
Konferenz „An enabling volunteering infrastructure in Europe“ 2009 in Malmö unternommen. Als
Ergebnis dieser Tagung wurden in der Studie „Volunteering Infrastructure in Europe“ (CEV 2012) in 29
ausführlichen Länderberichten Definition und Konzepte, die Freiwilligenlandschaft, rechtlicher Rahmen und Umsetzung, die Struktur des gemeinnützigen Sektors und weiterer Stakeholder, Finanzierungsmodelle, Forschungsansätze und Qualitätsstandards gegenübergestellt.
Dieser Studie lag das Verständnis der UNV-Definition zugrunde, dass Engagementinfrastruktur nicht
nur die Engagement fördernden Strukturen/Einrichtungen beinhaltet, sondern auch Mechanismen
und Verfahren wie rechtliche und finanzielle Rahmenbedingungen sowie die Anerkennungs- und
Wertschätzungskultur für das bürgerschaftliche Engagement. Desweiteren sind auch Beziehungssysteme, bestimmte Personen, Wissen und Kompetenz zur Infrastruktur hinzuzurechnen. In der Praxis
hat sich in den meisten Ländern gleichwohl eine strukturbezogene Definition durchgesetzt, die den
Begriff der Engagementinfrastruktur auf die Summe der Engagement unterstützenden Einrichtungen
bezieht. Auch dieses Recherchepapier orientiert sich an diesem engeren, strukturbezogenen Bezugsrahmen.
Bezug der Infrastrukturdebatte zu staatlichen Engagementstrategien
Der vergleichende Blick auf die Entwicklung der Freiwilligeninfrastruktur in unterschiedlichen europäischen Ländern macht deutlich, in welch starker Beziehung Infrastruktureinrichtungen und Engagementpolitik zueinander stehen.
Engagementpolitik sei hier verstanden als staatliche Strategieentwicklung zur Stimulierung des bürgerschaftlichen Engagements. Nicht alle Länder haben in ihren Fachdiskursen dabei einen so holistischen Ansatz entwickelt, wie es im Nachgang des Abschlussberichts der Enquete-Kommission „Zukunft des Bürgerschaftlichen Engagements“ 2002 in Deutschland geschehen ist, nach dem Engagementpolitik verstanden wird als „reformpolitisches Projekt, dessen Realisierung einen weitreichenden Umbau der Institutionen in Staat und Gesellschaft erfordert“ (Olk/Klein/Hartnuss: 26). Eine Politik zur Förderung des bürgerschaftlichen Engagements umfasst demnach nicht nur „eingeschränkte
Ressortpolitik“ (Olk/Klein/Hartnuss 2010: 24) zur Förderung der Freiwilligentätigkeit, sondern hilft im
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UNV 2005: “Volunteering Infrastructure encompasses the systems, mechanisms and instruments needed to
ensure an environment where volunteerism can flourish.”
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Sinne eines „ermöglichenden und aktivierenden Staates“ (Deutscher Bundestag 2002: 7), bürgergesellschaftliche Beteiligungs- und Mitwirkungschancen zu eröffnen.
In den meisten europäischen Ländern (wie auch in Deutschland), hat das Internationale Freiwilligenjahr 2001 wesentlich zur Herausbildung von engagementpolitischen Ansätzen geführt, die sich oft
jedoch auf die Förderung der Freiwilligkeit im engeren Sinne und weniger auf die gesellschafts- und
demokratiepolitische Dimension von Engagementpolitik beziehen. Nach Hal lassen sich im europäischen Vergleich vier Zielstellungen nationaler Engagementpolitik feststellen, die den meisten Ländern ähnlich sind:
• Recognition, which can be directed towards acknowledging contributions of volunteering in
terms of the services it provides or towards acknowledging the importance of volunteering for
society in general;
• Promotion, which can demonstrate the flexibility of volunteering with regard to individual
interests and preferences, conditions, and goals or role models and heroes. Further promotional activities can show that volunteering is not only a moral obligation, but it is also fun,
personally rewarding and facilitates new social (and professional) contacts;
• Facilitation/support which can be directed towards developing an infrastructure of supporting bodies (e.g. national [umbrella] organisations or local volunteer centres). It can also focus
on creating a favourable (legal) environment for volunteering or removing legal barriers for
volunteers and volunteer organisations;
• Networking which essentially involves drawing connections between the volunteer community and the broader society. In many countries networking efforts are aimed at attracting
new groups (e.g. youth, elderly, the corporate community, migrants, students)
Volunteer Infrastructure / Volunteering Infrastructure
Zunächst wird im europäischen Diskurs häufig eine Unterscheidung getroffen zwischen der Infrastruktur des gemeinnützigen Sektors im weiteren Sinne (volunteer infrastructure) und der Freiwilligeninfrastruktur im engeren Sinne (volunteering infrastructure). Diese Unterscheidung ist insbesondere in denjenigen Ländern anzutreffen, die für die Breite der Vereinslandschaft und zivilgesellschaftlichen Initiativen etablierte zentrale Beratungs- und Unterstützungseirichtungen besitzen - insbesondere zu Fragen der Organisationsentwicklung, zu Fundraising, Personal- und Freiwilligenmanagement
sowie mitunter auch zur Beratung bei der politischen Durchsetzung der Organisationsinteressen.
In Deutschland ist diese Unterscheidung bisher kaum in den Fachdiskurs vorgedrungen. Hier wird
zum einen die gesamte deutsche Vereinslandschaft als Freiwilligeninfrastruktur im weitesten Sinne
beschrieben und den etablierten Dachverbänden des Dritten Sektors traditionell die Rolle der volunteer infrastructure zugedacht. Zumeist wird dieser lediglich die volunteering infrastructure als Sammelbegriff für die neuen Anlaufstellen gegenüber gestellt (vgl. Wolf/Zimmer: 43f). Es ist fraglich, ob
die in den letzten Jahren neben den Dachverbänden entstandenen freien Beratungseinrichtungen
und intermediären Organisationen nicht in absehbarer Zeit eine Bedeutung erlangen, die diesen Diskurs auch in Deutschland befördern.
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Dieses Recherchepapier verwendet im Folgenden das Verständnis der volunteering infrastructure
und bezieht sich beim Begriff Engagamentinfrastruktur auf Engagement unterstützende Einrichtungen.
Das Volunteer Centre als Idealtypus einer Engagementinfrastruktureinrichtung
In Deutschland werden im Verständnis der Engagement unterstützenden Einrichtungen zahlreiche,
sehr unterschiedliche Organisationstypen zusammengedacht: Freiwilligenagenturen und -zentren,
Seniorenbüros, Selbsthilfekontaktstellen, lokale Anlaufstellen in der Kommunalverwaltung, Bürgerstiftungen oder Mehrgenerationenhäuser.
In den meisten anderen europäischen Ländern herrscht hingegen ein spezifischer Strukturtypus vor.
Zumeist ist dies ein volunteer centre, ein Freiwilligenzentrum. In der Literatur und in den verschiedenen europäischen Ländern finden sich für diesen Typus unterschiedliche Begriffe: agency for voluntary service, social service agency, volunteer bureau, voluntary action centre, volunteering centre, voluntary support centre, voluntary network centre, volunteer agency, Voluntary Service Center (USA),
Freiwilligenagentur (Deutschland), Vrijwilligerscentrale (Niederlande), Frivillighedsformidlingens (Dänemark), Servizio per il Voluntariato (Italien), frivillighetssentral, nærmiljøsentral (Norwegen), vapaaehtoisvälitys (Finnland).
Ein Freiwilligenzentrum unterscheidet sich von anderen Einrichtungen dadurch, dass es sich um die
Förderung des bürgerschaftlichen Engagements und insbesondere die Rekrutierung Freiwilliger für
andere Einrichtungen und Organisationen und nicht für eigene Projekte oder Bedarfe bemüht. Penberthy hat diesen Typus wie folgt beschrieben: „Ein Freiwilligenzentrum besteht, um Menschen zum
freiwilligen Engagement zu bewegen, um den Zugang zum Engagement so einfach wie möglich zu
gestalten, und um die Qualität in den Engagementangeboten so gut wie möglich sicherzustellen.“
(Penberthy, 2004, 4)
Freiwilligenzentren fördern das bürgerschaftliche Engagement in einer großen Spanne an Aktivitäten.
In dieser Hinsicht beinhaltet die Mission dieser Einrichtungen weit mehr als Rekrutierungs- und Begleitungsaufgaben der Freiwilligen. Susan Ellis definiert ein Freiwilligenzentrum daher als
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ein Konzept: “an expression of a community-wide vision of volunteerism that is inclusive of
people and causes”;
einen Ort: “a place: where diverse groups can meet in mutual concern for the support of volunteers”;
einen Kristallisationspunkt: “for coordinating and increasing the visibility of the efforts of volunteers” (zitiert nach van den Bos 2014: 59).
Funktionen der Engagement unterstützenden Einrichtungen
In den meisten europäischen Ländern sind Engagement unterstützende Einrichtungen, zumeist Freiwilligenzentren, als Anlaufstellen auf kommunaler Ebene entweder aus Antrieb der engagierten Bürgerschaft oder im Rahmen staatlicher Programme gegründet und aufgebaut worden. Die Rekrutierung und Vermittlung von Freiwilligen wird als ihre Hauptaufgabe gesehen, auch wenn europaweit
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kaum mehr als 2% der Engagierten unmittelbar über ein Freiwilligenzentrum ins Engagement gelangt
(Low 2007). Dabei wird häufig übersehen, dass Freiwilligenzentren eine viel größere Rolle spielen und
nach van den Bos und anderen Studien allesamt folgende Funktionen erfüllen:
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Vermittlung
Bewerbung des Engagement allgemein, Aufmerksamkeit herstellen
Beteiligung und Teilhabe im und über das Engagement ermöglichen
Information, Fortbildung und Datenerhebung zum freiwilligen Engagement
Aufbau von Partnerschaften und Vernetzen von Akteuren
Einflussnahme auf die Ausgestaltung kommunaler Engagementstrategien
In der Literatur wird darüber hinaus häufig auf die Funktionsbeschreibung von Penberthy verwiesen,
die im Rahmen der englischen Strategy for Volunteering Infrastructure 2004-2014 unternommen
wurde und wegen ihrer Bedeutung im Folgenden gänzlich dokumentiert ist:
Brokerage: This is the primary function of which many other local functions are a subset/delivery mechanism. The volunteering infrastructure will have a clear understanding of
the role, range and remit of voluntary and community activity. It will hold information on a
wide range of volunteering opportunities. It will seek out information on a comprehensive
range of volunteering opportunities. It will offer potential volunteers support and advice in
matching their motivations to volunteer with appropriate volunteering opportunities.
Marketing Volunteering: The volunteering infrastructure will aim to stimulate and encourage
interest in voluntary and community activity. It will market and promote volunteering through
local, regional, and national events and campaigns. It will have publicity materials targeted at
different groups of potential volunteers. It will manage and promote a national consumer facing brand for local volunteering infrastructure. Marketing and promotional activities will be
delivered creatively (whilst not forgetting simple things work), in innovative ways, within the
statutory, voluntary and private sectors. It will deliver a variety of positive messages about
the benefits, diverse nature, and conditions of volunteering and make full use of the latest
technology to promote ist work.
Good-practice development: The volunteering infrastructure will have a commitment to promoting good practice in working with volunteers to all volunteer involving organisations, and
will actively support this. It will work to increase the volunteering knowledge base of its own
staff and volunteers as well as of other individuals, organisations, and groups at all levels. It
will develop and deliver training and accreditation strategies for potential volunteers, volunteers, Volunteer Managers and volunteering infrastructure organisations. It will hold resource
and training packs. It will ensure that all the information it holds is available to other agencies, individuals, and groups. It will offer volunteer-specific training to existing and prospective volunteers and to staff and volunteers from volunteer involving organisations. It will be
aware of, and implement, best practice in delivering training to various groups and individuals in different settings. It will regularly be contacted by other agencies, groups, and individuals seeking information about volunteering issues.
Developing volunteering opportunities: The volunteering infrastructure will take a strategic
approach to the development of volunteering opportunities. It will work in close partnership
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with other statutory, voluntary and private sector agencies, as well as with community and
faith groups, to develop volunteering. Locally it will also have an understanding of the potential within the community in which it operates and have clear plans working to realise that
potential. The volunteering infrastructure will ensure that its services are accessible, and that
it communicates clearly to individuals, organisations, and groups at all levels. It will implement an equal opportunities policy, with a clear commitment to diversity, equality antioppressive practice. It will target its promotion of volunteering on specific groups of people
who face barriers to volunteering. […] The volunteering infrastructure will work creatively to
develop imaginative, non-formal opportunities for potential volunteers.
Policy response and campaigning: The national volunteering infrastructure will devise and
lead on policy development which serves to influence and create a social policy climate in
England (and by extension the UK and Europe) which is volunteer-friendly and volunteerliterate. This will be informed by experiences of practitioners. The volunteering infrastructure
will maintain awareness of local, regional and national government proposals and policies
which may have an impact on volunteers. It will lead and/or participate in campaigns on issues that affect volunteers and volunteering. The volunteering infrastructure will seek recognition as the first port of call whenever the media seek a comment related to volunteering. It
will campaign regularly and proactively for increased awareness of volunteering and for a
more volunteer-literate and volunteer-friendly climate. It will support people who wish to volunteer to effect positive social change and improve the quality of life in their community. It
will challenge received wisdom about the capacity of existing service provision and about the
ways in which people can or cannot involved volunteering and its development.
Strategic development of volunteering: Volunteering England will take strategic responsibility
for the support and development of local and regional infrastructure; good practice development and sectoral networks. It will take a strategic approach to the development of social
policy at local, regional, and national levels, aiming to support proposed changes which
would facilitate volunteering and challenge proposed changes which could inhibit volunteering. It will monitor and evaluate the impact of the volunteering infrastructure. The volunteering infrastructure will maintain awareness of the volunteering needs and existing practices of
all volunteer-involving organisations. It will have close links with those organisations and
groups, and be actively involved in relevant networks.
Die Untersuchung von van den Bos belegt jedoch, dass bei weitem nicht alle Freiwilligenzentren in
Europa die volle Bandbreite dieser Funktionen in der Praxis erfüllen. Lediglich in England, den Niederlanden und in Deutschland (hier die Freiwilligenagenturen) geben an, in all diesen Bereichen aktiv zu
sein. Zu begründen ist dies insbesondere mit den Vorgaben der Finanzierung durch kommunale oder
zentralstaatliche Zuwendungsgeber und den in den der Förderung zugrunde liegenden engagementpolitischen/-strategischen Prioritäten.
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3. Länderberichte2
3.1 Deutschland
1. VOLUNTEERING INFRASTRUCTURE CONCEPT DEFINITION
In Deutschland ist die Organisationsform, in der Bürgerschaftliches Engagement vor allem stattfindet,
der (eingetragene) Verein. Daneben spielen Kirchen, Wohlfahrtsverbände und öffentliche Institutionen wie Schulen, Museen etc. eine wichtige Rolle. Man könnte dies die Basis-Infrastruktur nennen, in
der Bürgerschaftliches Engagement in Deutschland organisiert ist. Im engeren Sinne hat sich in der
Diskussion in Deutschland allerdings ein Infrastrukturbegriff durchgesetzt, der Einrichtungen umfasst,
die in den letzten drei Jahrzehnten entstanden sind: Dazu zählen Seniorenbüros, Freiwilligenagenturen, Kontaktstellen für Selbsthilfe, Mehrgenerationenhäuser u.ä. Diese Einrichtungen greifen das
wachsende Bedürfnis einer unabhängigen Beratung und Vermittlung vieler Menschen auf, die sich
engagieren wollen (Angabe: Gutachten Jakob/Röbke, 2010).
In den letzten drei Jahrzehnten entstanden unterschiedliche Formate von Infrastrukturen, die unterschiedliche Akzente setzen. Sie wenden sich zum Beispiel an besondere Zielgruppen wie ältere Menschen ab 50 Jahren (Seniorenbüros) oder Menschen mit gesundheitlichen Beeinträchtigungen
(Selbsthilfekontaktstellen). Allen Infrastrukturen ist aber eine Drehscheiben- und Entwicklerfunktion
für das Bürgerschaftliche Engagement gemeinsam (siehe unten). Im Überblick gibt es in Deutschland
derzeit:
Freiwilligenagenturen-/zentren, ca.
Seniorenbüros
ca.
Selbsthilfekontaktstellen
Mehrgenerationenhäuser
Bürgerstiftungen
300
250
212
500
237
Weitere Einrichtungstypen, die ähnliche Funktionen erfüllen, sind Lokale Anlaufstellen zur Engagementförderung (innerhalb der Kommunalverwaltung oder als eigenständige Einrichtungen), Stadtteilbüros (im Rahmen des Soziale Stadt-Programms), Dorfläden u.a. Einrichtungen zur Dorferneuerung, Nachbarschaftshäuser, Soziokulturelle Zentren, Lokale Agenda 21-Initiativen, Eltern-Kind- und
Familienzentren, Pflegestützpunkte. (Jakob/Röbke 2010)
Meist bestehen alle diese Infrastruktureinrichtungen aus kleinen Büros mit 1-2 hauptamtlichen Mitarbeitern. Die größten dieser Einrichtungen haben bis zu 20 hauptamtlich Beschäftigte. Diese Infrastruktureinrichtungen zeichnet insbesondere aus, dass sie eine Drehscheiben- und Entwicklerfunktion für das Volunteering einnehmen. Einerseits vermitteln sie Ehrenamtliche in Projekte und Gruppen. Andererseits erfinden, entwickeln und übertragen sie innovative Projekte des Bürgerschaftlichen Engagements. In den letzten Jahren wuchsen vor allem Patenschaftsprojekte in Deutschland.
Ältere Menschen helfen beispielsweise Jugendlichen beim Übergang von Schule in Beruf. Alleinerziehende Mütter werden durch ehrenamtliche Paten unterstützt.
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Die nachfolgenden Länderberichte folgen der Struktur und dem Grundmuster der Berichte der CEVPublikation „Volunteering Infrastructure in Europe“ von 2012. Sie wurden im Rahmen der Recherche aktualisiert und um weitere Aspekte ergänzt.
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Daneben gibt es den großen Bereich von Vereinen und Organisationen, der genau definierten Zwecken folgt, für deren Realisierung mit Ehrenamtlichen gearbeitet wird. Hierzu gehören zum Beispiel
die Feuerwehr oder die Rettungsdienste. In Deutschland gibt es traditionell große Bereiche, die
schon im 19. Jahrhundert entstanden sind und fast ausschließlich ehrenamtlich organisiert sind. Hierzu gehört der Sportbereich oder die Laienkunst mit ihren Chören und Laienorchestern oder Amateurtheatern. Daneben gibt es aber einen wachsenden Bereich hauptamtlich geführter Institutionen wie
Kindergärten, Schulen, Seniorenheime, Krankenhäuser etc., die mit Ehrenamtlichen arbeiten.
2. VOLUNTEERING LANDSCAPE
1999 wurde vom Deutschen Bundestag eine “Enquete-Kommission zur Zukunft des Bürgerschaftlichen Engagements” (http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/14/089/1408900.pdf) eingesetzt, die 2002
ihren Abschlussbericht vorlegte. Hierin findet sich eine weithin akzeptierte Definition des Bürgerschaftlichen Engagements: Das Bürgerschaftliche Engagement umfasst Tätigkeiten, die
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gemeinwohlorientiert sind, indem sie zum Beispiel bestimmte benachteiligte Personengruppen unterstützen oder in gemeinnützigen Einrichtungen des sozialen, kulturellen und Bildungsbereichs mitarbeiten;
freiwillig sind, also keinem Arbeitnehmer-Arbeitgeberverhältnis und dessen rechtlichen
Rahmenbedingungen (Weisungsrecht, Kündigungsschutz etc.) unterliegen;
öffentlich stattfinden, also sich an Gruppen außerhalb des eigenen familiären Umkreises,
zum Beispiel der Nachbarschaft, adressieren;
unentgeltlich sind, also nicht mit einem Einkommen oder einer finanziellen Honorierung verbunden sind, obwohl man durchaus Auslagen für einen bestimmten Aufwand erhalten kann.
Nach dem Freiwilligensurvey 2009 (Angabe: Monitor Engagement 2), der in Deutschland alle fünf
Jahre seit 1999 erhoben wird und ca. 15.000 bis 20.000 Telefonbefragungen umfasst, sind 37 Prozent
aller in Deutschland lebenden Personen über 14 Jahre bürgerschaftlich aktiv (23,4 Mio Menschen Angabe: Freiwilligensurvey 1999 / 2004). Diese Zahlen sind seit der ersten Erhebung 1999 relativ
stabil. Der nächste Freiwilligensurvey (2014) wird im Laufe des Jahres 2015 vorgestellt.
Der Freiwilligensurvey 2009 ist ein sehr umfassender Datensatz. Wichtige Ergebnisse sind u.a.:
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Es sind mehr Männer (40 Prozent) als Frauen (32 Prozent) engagiert.
Neue Bundesländer haben offensichtlich noch Aufholbedarf, weil bei ihnen vor der Wiedervereinigung die wichtige zivilgesellschaftliche Infrastruktur von unabhängigen Vereinen kaum
existierte.
Familien mit mehreren Kindern sind häufiger engagiert als alleinstehende Personen.
In ländlichen Gebieten findet sich ein größerer Anteil bürgerschaftlichen Engagements als in
urbanen Zentren (etwa 40 Prozent zu 30 Prozent).
Ein weiteres Drittel der Bevölkerung ab 14 Jahren gilt als gesellschaftlich aktiv, weil sie zum
Beispiel Mitglied in einem Sportverein sind oder in einem Chor singen.
Etwa ein Drittel der Personen, die heute noch nicht freiwillig tätig sind, sind dazu bereit (Engagementpotenzial).
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Das Engagement von Jugendlichen nahm in den letzten zehn Jahren leicht ab (37 Prozent zu 35 Prozent). Zum Teil scheint hier die Verdichtung von Leistungsanforderungen in Schule und Studium verantwortlich zu sein. Das Engagement der Gruppe der “Jungen Alten” (60-69 Jahre) nahm in den letzten zehn Jahren deutlich zu (31 Prozent auf 37 Prozent).
Seit dem von der UNO ausgerufenen Internationalen Jahr der Freiwilligen (IJV) 2001 ist die öffentliche Aufmerksamkeit für Bürgerschaftliches Engagement in Deutschland stetig gestiegen. Dies macht
sich beispielsweise an der Zahl der wachsenden Infrastrukturen für Freiwillige, aber auch der Zahl der
Preise und Auszeichnungen für ehrenamtliche Tätigkeiten oder herausragende Personen fest. Seit
September 2004 gibt es die sehr erfolgreiche Aktionswoche des Bundesnetzwerks Bürgerschaftliches
Engagement (www.engagement-macht-stark.de), einem Zusammenschluss der wichtigsten politischen und gesellschaftlichen Akteure des Zivilengagements. Seit 2009 wird der Deutsche Engagementpreis verliehen (www.geben-gibt.de). Zudem hat die Berichterstattung in den Medien stark
zugenommen. Besonders herausragend war eine ganze Themenwoche, die die ARD als größte öffentlich rechtliche Fernseh- und Rundfunkanstalt in Deutschland 2009 dem Bürgerschaftlichen Engagement gewidmet hat.
3. LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR VOLUNTEERING AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION
Aktuell wird an einer umfassenden gesetzlichen Grundlage für die sog. Freiwilligendienste gearbeitet.
Diese Dienste beinhalten die Verpflichtung, sich für mindestens 20 Stunden in der Woche zu engagieren. Freiwilligendienste sind vor allem für Jugendliche und junge Erwachsene attraktiv, die sich beruflich orientieren. Dieses Gesetz betrifft allerdings eine kleine Personengruppe (ca 70.000 Plätze darunter 35.000 Plätze im Freiwilligen Sozialen Jahr der Bundesländer und 35.000 Plätze im neu geplanten
Bundesfreiwilligendienst). Darüber hinaus gibt es kein spezifisches Gesetz des Volunteering. In der
Koalitionsvereinbarung (www.cdu.de/portal2009/29145.htm) der jetzt aktuellen Bundesregierung
wird allerdings ein derartiges Gesetz angekündigt.
Das zukünftige Gesetz zu den Freiwilligendiensten soll u.a. regeln: Den Umfang und die Dauer der
Freiwilligendienste, die Möglichkeit der Fortbildung und die Höhe des Zuschusses aus öffentlichen
Kassen für Einsatzstellen. Ein umfassendes Gesetz für das Bürgerschaftliche Engagement ist sinnvoll,
bedarf aber einer breiten öffentlichen Diskussion, die ohne Zeitdruck mit allen gesellschaftlichen
Akteuren in diesem Bereich geführt werden muss.
Bisher sind die das Bürgerschaftliche Engagement betreffenden gesetzlichen Regelungen in verschiedenen Einzelgesetzen enthalten. Hierzu gehören zum Beispiel die Sozialgesetzbücher II und XII (Engagment von Arbeitslosen bzw. Sozialhilfeempfängern), Sozialgesetzbuch VIII (offene Jugendarbeit), das
Bürgerliche Gesetzbuch (Gesetzlicher Versicherungsschutz von Ehrenamtlichen), das Einkommensteuergesetz (Definition der Gemeinnützigkeit von Körperschaften, Regeln zur Steuerfreiheit der
Aufwandsentschädigungen von Ehrenamtlichen). Daneben gibt es einzelne Vorschriften der Länder.
Hierzu gehören zum Beispiel Regeln zur Freistellung von ehrenamtlichen Einsätzen während der Arbeitszeit, Regeln zum Auslagenersatz der Freiwilligen Feuerwehr etc.
Durch das Fehlen eines übergreifenden Gesetzes fehlt auch eine gesetzliche Regelung, wie das Bürgerschaftliche Engagement beispielsweise von Honorar- und Nebentätigkeiten abzugrenzen ist, die
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mit dem Ziel ausgeübt werden, ein Einkommen zu erzielen. Zudem gibt es nach Expertenmeinung
Reformbedarf bei der Definition von Gemeinnützigkeit öffentlicher Körperschaften. Hier ist auch
Europäisches Recht berührt (z.B. Dienstleistungsrichtlinie). Viele gemeinnützige Organisationen, die
mit Ehrenamtlichen arbeiten, sind zugleich Marktteilnehmer und stehen unter massivem Konkurrenzdruck. Hier ist es wichtig, sich entsprechenden Schutzfunktionen zu überlegen, die es verhindern,
dass Ehrenamtliche für Unternehmen mit Gewinnerzielungsabsicht instrumentalisiert werden.
Es wäre vor allem die Aufgabe der Bundesregierung und des Bundestages, hier eine gesetzliche
Grundlage zu schaffen, die mit den Bundesländern koordiniert werden müsste. Im föderalen Aufbau
der Bundesrepublik, der zwischen Bundesstaat, Bundesländern und Kommunen als dritter föderaler
Ebene unterscheidet, ist es zunächst die kommunale Ebene (Gemeinden, Städte und Landkreise), die
Infrastrukturen des Bürgerschaftlichen Engagements dauerhaft finanzieren. Die Kommunen arbeiten
in Kooperation mit vielen örtlichen unabhängigen Akteuren wie Wohlfahrtsverbände und Vereinen
zusammen. Bund und Länder gaben und geben beim Aufbau von Infrastrukturen durch Modellprojekte wichtige Impulse. So hat beispielsweise das Bundesfamilienministerium in einem großen Modellprojekt 500 Mehrgenerationenhäuser (www.mehrgenerationenhaeuser.de), mit jeweils 40.000
Euro pro Jahr (Laufzeit fünf Jahre) gefördert. Relevant für Infrastrukturen waren aber auch frühere
Programme dieses Ministeriums, zum Beispiel die in den 1990er Jahren laufende Förderung von Seniorenbüros (www.seniorenbueros.org) und Selbsthilfekontaktstellen (www.seko-bayern.de). Sie
waren der Anfang wichtiger Infrastrukturentwicklungen. Derzeit fördert das BMFSFJ auch die Servicestelle “Initiative Bürgerstiftungen” (www.die-deutschen-buergerstiftungen.de), die den bundesweiten Aufbau von Bürgerstiftungen voranbringen soll. In den kommenden Jahren setzt der Bund vor
allem auf diese beiden Infrastrukturtypen (Mehrgenerationenhäuser, Bürgerstiftungen), während
andere Infrastrukturen wie Freiwilligenagenturen höchst marginal gefördert werden. Das Land Bayern fördert den Aufbau von 40 Freiwilligenagenturen (www.bagfa.de) in strukturschwachen ländlichen Räumen. Das Land Niedersachsen fördert in jedem Landkreis und jeder kreisfreien Stadt je ein
Seniorenservicebüro (www.ms.niedersachsen.de), das sich vor allem an die Generation ab 50 wendet, um sie für das Bürgerschaftliche Engagement zu gewinnen. Die Hansestadt Hamburg
(www.hamburg.de/ehrenamtliches-engagement) überlegt gerade, 40-50 Nachbarschaftsbüros einzurichten.
Bund Länder und Kommunen wollen sich in den kommenden Jahren um eine besser abgestimmte
Förderpolitik für die Infrastrukturentwicklung kümmern. Jedenfalls besteht auf allen Seiten der Wille,
vor allem die bestehenden Infrastrukturen dauerhaft zu fördern und nachhaltig zu sichern, aber keine neuen Modellprogramme aufzulegen. Dafür muss die in den letzten beiden Jahrzehnten ausgeprägte Vorliebe für kurzfristige Modellprojekte reduziert werden. Allerdings ist dies sehr schwierig,
die verschiedenen Entwicklungen, die Bund, Länder und Kommunen in den letzten Jahren angestoßen haben, zusammenzuführen. Hinzu kommt, dass die zivilgesellschaftlichen Akteure einbezogen
werden müssen, da sie vor allem die Träger der Infrastruktureinrichtungen sind. Man kann kritisch
anmerken, dass vor allem die Bundesebene lernen muss, mit zivilgesellschaftlichen Akteuren auf
Augenhöhe zu kommunizieren.
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4. STRUCTURE OF THE NON-PROFIT SECTOR INVOLVED IN VOLUNTEERING
Es gibt in Deutschland kein zentrales nationales Freiwilligenzentrum, allerdings vielfältige Dachverbände, die die Infrastrukturtypen auf Bundesebene vertreten. So gibt es die BAGFA als den Zusammenschluss der Freiwilligenagenturen. Auf Länderebene gibt es einzelne Landesarbeitsgemeinschaften der Freiwilligenagenturen (www.lagfa.de), zum Beispiel in Nordrhein-Westfalen und Bayern (lagfa). Die NAKOS (www.nakos.de) ist die nationale Dachorganisation der Selbsthilfe. Auch hier gibt es
entsprechende Landesarbeitsgemeinschaften. Weitere Zusammenschlüsse sind die Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Seniorenbüros (BAS), die Bundesvereinigung der soziokulturellen Zentren
(www.soziokultur.de/bsz/)etc. Die Mehrgenerationenhäuser, die aufgrund eines umfangreichen
Bundesmodellprojektes in den letzten Jahren entstanden sind, haben bislang noch keine Selbstorganisationsform, bemühen sich aber darum, nachdem ab 2011 die Modellförderung ausläuft. Der Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen (www.stiftungen.org) ist zugleich der Dachverband für die Bürgerstiftungen. Der Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen bemüht sich derzeit, regionale Ansprechpartner
in einzelnen Bundesländern für die Bürgerstiftungen zu finden.
Neben den genannten Organisationen, die einzelne Infrastrukturtypen des Bürgerschaftlichen Engagements auf Länder- und Bundesebene vertreten, gibt es bundesweite Zusammenschlüsse mit einer
bestimmten inhaltlichen Zielrichtung, die zum Teil eng mit den Infrastrukturentwicklungen verbunden sind: Dazu gehören die seit 1963 bestehende Stiftung Mitarbeit (www.mitarbeit.de), der Verein
Aktive Bürgerschaft (www.aktive-buergerschaft.de), der von den Genossenschaftsbanken in Deutschland gefördert wird und seinerseits den Aufbau von Bürgerstiftungen unterstützt. Zudem gibt es einzelne Stiftungen, die sich insbesondere der Förderung des Bürgerschaftlichen Engagements und seiner Infrastrukturen widmen, wie die Robert-Bosch-Stiftung (www.bosch-stiftung.de), Alfred-ToepferStiftung (www.toepfer-fvs.de) oder der Generali-Zukunftsfond (www.generali-zukunftsfonds.de).
Schließlich gibt es thematische Netzwerke wie upj (www.upj.de), die im Bereich von Corporate Volunteering aktiv sind und Unternehmen, aber auch Freiwilligenagenturen als Mittlerorganisationen zu
ihren Mitgliedern zählen.
Diese Netzwerke, Stiftungen und Dachverbände sind von der Trägerschaft her unterschiedlich organisiert. Meist sind sie Vereine, in denen die einzelnen Infrastruktureinrichtungen Mitglieder sind. Es
gibt aber auch Zusammenschlüsse unter dem Dach großer Wohlfahrtsverbände wie das Netzwerk
der Freiwilligenzentren der Caritas (www.caritas.de/33767.html).
Übergreifende Kommunikations und Kooperationsstrukturen der unterschiedlichen Infrastrukturtypen sind in Deutschland noch nicht sehr ausgeprägt. Es gibt einzelne Netzwerke, wie das Landesnetzwerk Bürgerschaftliches Engagement in Bayern (www.wir-fuer-uns.de), in dem Freiwilligenagenturen, Seniorenbüros und Selbsthilfekontaktstellen gemeinsam Mitglied sind. Eine Verbesserung
übergreifender Kooperationsformen ist dringend erforderlich, um Überschneidungen von Arbeitsbereichen aber auch Konkurrenz bei der Vergabe öffentlicher Mittel und beim Fundraising zu vermeiden. Auf der lokalen Ebene gibt es allerdings einige Netzwerke, an denen alle lokalen Infrastrrukturtypen beteiligt sind. Hierzu zählen das Landesnetzwerk Bürgerschaftliches Engagement Berlin
(www.berlin.de/buergeraktiv/be/wissen/
berlinerlandesnetzwerk.html), das Aktivoli-Netzwerk Hamburg (www.aktivoli.de), FOEBE München
(www.foebe-muenchen.de) oder der Runde Tisch Bürgerschaftliches Engagement Nürnberg.
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Seit Juni 2002 gibt es das Bundesnetzwerk Bürgerschaftliches Engagement(www.b-b-e.de). In ihm
sind über 250 Verbände, Bundesländer, Städte, Landesnetzwerke Bürgerschaftliches Engagement
und engagierte Wirtschaftsunternehmen Mitglied. Das Bundesnetzwerk versteht sich als trisektorale
Dachorganisation, in der die wichtigsten zivilgesellschaftlichen, staatlichen und wirtschaftlichen Akteure versammelt sind. Das Bundesnetzwerk hat in den letzten beiden Jahren Foren zur Entwicklung
einer nationalen Engagementpolitik organisiert und deren Ergebnisse dokumentiert. Es unterhält
unterschiedliche Fachgruppen, die Stellungnahmen zu Themen wie Bildung und Bürgerschaftliches
Engagement, lokale Engagementpolitik, Corporate Volunteering oder Engagementpolitik in Europa
formulieren und veröffentlichen.
Der größte Verband ist der Deutsche Olympische Sportbund (DOSB) (www.dosb.de) mit 27,5 Mio
(Stand 2008) Mitgliedern. Fast ein Viertel aller Freiwilligen engagieren sich im Sport. Daneben gibt es
die beiden großen Kirchen (Evangelisch-Lutherisch, Römisch-Katholisch) und die mit ihnen verbundenen beiden größten Wohlfahrtsverbände Caritas (katholisch) (http://www.caritas-ehrenamt.de/) und
Diakonie (evangelisch) (www.pflege-und-diakonie.de/ehrenamt/index.html) mit zehntausenden von
Einrichtungen wie Altenheime, Kindergärten, Sozialstationen etc, in denen sich Menschen ehrenamtlich engagieren. Sieben Prozent der Bevölkerung über 14 Jahren ist in Kirche und religiösen Vereinen
engagiert. 2,7 Prozent engagieren sich in der politischen Interessensvertetung (vor allen der Parteien
etc.), 1,7 Prozent in der beruflichen Interessensvertretung, vor allem in den Gewerkschaften (Angabe: Freiwilligensurvey 1999 / 2004). In den letzten Jahrzehnten haben diese großen Organisationen
kontinuierlich Mitglieder verloren. Zur gleichen Zeit sind allerdings viele kleine Initiativen und Vereine gewachsen, deren Zahl weiterhin zunimmt. So hat sich seit 1990 bis 2003 die Zahl der Vereine von
300.000 auf 574.000 nahezu verdoppelt. Zwischen 2001 und 2003 wuchs die Zahl der Vereine um
30.000, wobei sich das Wachstum vor allem auf die Neuen Bundesländer bezieht, die nach dem Fall
der Mauer die Entwicklung zu zivilgesellschaftlichen Strukturen nachholen. (http://www.npomanager.de/archiv/Default.asp?bid=743&uid=liste)
Die in den letzten drei Jahrzehnten neu entstandenen Infrastrukturen des Bürgerschaftlichen Engagements kooperieren vielfältig mit traditionellen Organisationen in Sport, Kultur, Bildung und Sozialem. Sie entwickeln gemeinsam Projekte und vermitteln Freiwillige in diese Organisationen. Allerdings könnten nach unserer Beobachtung diese Kontakte noch intensiver werden. An manchen Orten
betrachten die klassischen Vereine, Freiwillige Feuerwehren oder Wohlfahrtsverbände die neu entstandenen Infrastruktureinrichtungen als Konkurrenz. So sind vor kurzem zwei traditionelle Wohlfahrtsverbände aus dem Bundesnetzwerk Bürgerschaftliches Engagement ausgetreten. Allerdings
sind die neuen Infrastruktureinrichtungen mit den Wohlfahrtsverbänden zum Teil auch organisatorisch verbunden. So hat die Caritas, der größte deutsche Wohlfahrtsverband, seit 1996 Freiwilligenzentren gegründet und finanziert. Von den etwa 300 Freiwilligenagenturen in Deutschland gehören
53 zum Netzwerk der Freiwilligenzentren der Caritas (www.caritasehrenamt.de/53691.html#Bayern).
Trotz dieser vielen existierenden Verbindungen wird es eine der wichtigsten Aufgaben der weiteren
Infrastrukturentwicklung sein, Freiwilligenagenturen und die oft schon im 19. Jahrhundert gewachsene Vereinslandschaft näher zusammenzuführen. Vereine haben heute vielfältigen Bedarf für Unterstützung. Vorstände werden älter und die Suche nach Nachfolgern ist schwierig. Finanzierungsprobleme wegen geringerer Zuschüsse stellen sich ein. Mitglieder haben aufgrund weniger Zeit keine
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Ressourcen zur bürgerschaftlichen Mitarbeit. Hierzu will die Robert-Bosch-Stiftung ab 2011 ein neues
Forschungsprogramm starten, in dem Freiwilligenzentren Vereine bei der Organisationsentwicklung
und der Suche nach geeigneten Kandidaten für Vorstände unterstützen sollen.
5. OTHER STAKEHOLDERS
Kommunalverwaltungen mittlerer und großer Städte, aber auch von Landkreisen haben in den
letzten Jahren zunehmend hauptamtliche Korrdinatoren für das Bürgerschaftliche Engagement und
Fundraising angestellt. Die Aufgaben dieser Koordinatoren besteht u.a. darin, die verschiedenen
Einrichtungen und Abteilungen der öffentlichen Verwaltungen für das Bürgerschaftliche Engagement
zu öffnen. Hierzu werden interne Fortbildungen und Coaching zu einer bürgerorientierten
Verwaltung angeboten, die sich als Ermöglicher (Enabling) des Bürgerschaftlichen Engagements
versteht. Zum Teil richten sich diese hauptamtlichen Koordinatoren auch direkt an die Bürgerschaft.
Sie organisieren beispielsweise Beteiligungsprozesse bei wichtigen Fragen kommunaler Entwicklung.
Diese zum Teil auf die Vorschläge einer lokalen Agenda 21 (die Mitte der 1990er Jahre auf
Empfehlung der Umweltkonferenz von Rio 2001 eingeführt wurden) zurückgehenden
Organisationsformen von Bürgerbeteiligung (Agenda-Beauftragte) haben in den letzten Jahren durch
die Entwicklung kommunaler Governance wieder Auftrieb gewonnen. Eine besondere Situation gibt
es im Bundesland Baden-Württemberg (www.buergerengagement.de). Hier gibt es
Freiwilligenzentren, die in kommunaler Trägerschaft bestehen. Die dort beschäftigten
Freiwilligenmanager sind daher Angestellte der Stadt oder des Landkreises.
In den letzten Jahren hat sich das Unternehmensengagement im Rahmen eines wachsenden
Interesses an Corporate Social Responsibility und Cororate Volunteering in Deutschland deutlich
gesteigert. Große Firmen wie BMW (www.bmw.de) , oder die Munich RE (www.munichre.com) hier
zum Teil eigene Abteilungen. Viele Firmen arbeiten aber auch mit Freiwilligenagenturen als
Mittlerorganisationen zusammen, die den Kontakt zu Non-Profit-Einrichtungen herstellen,
Secondments vermitteln oder Caring Days organisieren. Allerdings ist in Deutschland bei weitem
nicht das Niveau erreicht, das man aus Großbritannien oder den USA kennt. Kaum eine
Freiwilligenagentur kann über ihre geleisteten Dienste für Unternehmen auch dauerhafte
Personalstellen sichern. Auch sind die Aktivitäten des Corporate Volunteering selten in eine
nachhaltige Gesamtstrategie in den Unternehmen eingebunden.
Im Bereich des Corporate Volunteering sind mittlerweile bundesweite Netzwerke entstanden. UPJ
(www.upj.de) ist hier das bekannteste deutsche Netzwerk. Im Bundesnetzwerk Bürgerschaftliches
Engagement (BBE) unterhält eine Arbeitsgruppe Unternehmensengagement. Die Bundesregierung
will sich in den kommenden Jahren verstärkt um die Aktivierung des Unternehmensengagements
bemühen. Dies hat sie in der Nationalen Engagementstrategie der Bundesregierung, die im Oktober
2010 vom Kabinett verabschiedet wurde, ausdrücklich zu einem wesentlichen Schwerpunkt ihrer
Engagementpolitik erklärt. Einzelne Bundesländer wie Baden-Württemberg, Rheinland-Pfalz oder
Nordrhein-Westfalen haben Preise und Wettbewerbe für gutes Unternehmensengagement
ausgelobt.
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In der Bundesregierung ist das Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend
(BMFSFJ) für Angelegenheiten des Bürgerschaftlichen Engagements federführend. Hier gibt es eine
Unterabteilung Bürgerschaftliches Engagement mit über 30 Mitarbeitern. In den letzten Jahren war
für die Förderung von Infrastrukturen des Bürgerschaftlichen Engagements vor allem das große
Modellprojekt der Mehrgenerationenhäuser bedeutend (Siehe Punkt 3 g). Darüber hinaus fördert
das BMFSFJ größere und kleinere Modellprojekte sowie öffentliche Kampagnen. Der bedeutendste
finanzielle Beitrag wird allerdings in nächster Zeit für den Aufbau der Bundesfreiwilligendienste
benötigt. Das BMFSJ hat zudem Imagekampagnen für das Bürgerschaftliche Engagement finanziert,
so zum Beispiel 2009 die öffentliche Kampagne “Geben gibt”, die bundesweit mit großen Plakaten
geworben hat. Das Ministerium unterstützt auch die vom BBE organisierte Woche des
Bürgerschaftlichen Engagements, die in der Regel im September jeden Jahres stattfindet. In allen
Ländern gibt es, vor allem in der Staatskanzlei oder den Sozialministerien angesiedelte Abteilungen,
die für das Bürgerschaftliche Engagement arbeiten. Hier ist in den letzten Jahren sehr viel erreicht
worden: Zum Beispiel die Verbesserung des Versicherungsschutzes für Freiwillige und die öffentliche
Anerkennungskultur durch VolunteerCards und Engagementnachweise. Derzeit scheinen auch
Prozesse des Good governance (Bürgerkommune) an Bedeutung zu gewinnen und werden in
einzelnen Bundesländern staatlich gefördert.
Die parteinahen Stiftungen der großen Parteien, also die Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (Sozialdemokraten)
(www.fes.de) und Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (Christdemokraten) (www.kas.de) haben sich als
wichtige Foren des Diskurses des Bürgerschaftlichen Engagements etabliert. Sie veranstalten
Tagungen oder veröffentlichen regelmäßig Diskussionspapiere.
Es gibt kein verbreitetes Programm des Service-Learning, aber die Schulen werden in den
kommenden Jahren für das Bürgerschaftliche Engagement immer wichtigere Partner und Bühnen:
1. Weil in Deutschland zunehmend Ganztagsschulen entstehen. Die ehrenamtlich organisierte
Jugendarbeit in Sport-, Kulturvereinen etc., die bislang außerhalb des Schulalltags stattfand, muss
nun stärker in den Schulalltag einbezogen werden.
2. Weil es immer mehr ehrenamtliche Patenschaftsmodelle gibt, die sich auf Schulen beziehen. Hier
helfen Menschen, die im Beruf stehen oder schon das Berufsleben hinter sich haben, Schülerinnen
und Schülern bei der Berufsfindung.
3. Weil es eine rege Fachdebatte über die Bedeutung informellen und sozialen Lernens gibt, in der
Experten immer wieder die Stärkung Bürgerschaftlicher Engagementsmöglichkeiten hinweisen.
Zudem werden bessere Beteiligungsmöglichkeiten gefordert, um die Schule auch zu einem Ort zu
machen, an dem demokratische Haltungen und eine zivile Diskussionskultur eingeübt werden.
(Demokratielernen) (www.wir-fuer-uns.de/landesnetzwerk/i1702.htm#Schule)
Die Nationale Engagementstrategie der Bundesregierung
(www.berlin.de/imperia/md/content/buergeraktiv/nationale_20engagementstrategie_10_10_06.pdf
?start&ts=1289831757&file=nationale_20engagementstrategie_10_10_06.pdf) hat die Schulen als
wichtigen Bezugspunkt der Engagementpolitik besonders hervorgehoben. Allerdings liegt die
Zuständigkeit des Schulwesens nicht beim Bund, sondern bei den Bundesländern. Einige
Bundesländer wie Baden-Württemberg haben schon umfangreiche Programme der Einbeziehung
Bürgerschaftlichen Engagements in die Schule auf den Weg gebracht. Hier gibt es an ca. 1.000
Schulen ehrenamtliche Jugendbegleiter. Viele andere Bundesländer sind hier zögerlich. Das BBE
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organisiert alle zwei Jahre eine große Fachtagung zum Thema Bürgerschaftliches Engagement und
Schulen, in der viele gute lokale Beispiele von Schulen, die sich dem Bürgerschaftlichen Engagement
öffnen, vorgestellt und dokumentiert werden. Die letzte Fachtagung des BBE fand Oktober 2010 in
Hamburg statt (www.freiwilligen-agentur.de/download/Bildung_Hamburg.pdf)
In den letzten Jahren ist die Anzahl der Freiwilligenagenturen, die Service-Learning-Programme für
öffentliche Schulen und Kindertagesstätten anbieten, deutlich gestiegen. Besonders beliebt sind
ehrenamtliche Vorleseprojekte zur Verbesserung der Sprachkompetenz der Kinder. Nach dem Survey
2009 sind sieben Prozent aller Freiwilligen in Kindergärten und Schulen aktiv. Ähnlich sind
Infrastrukturen wie Freiwilligenagenturen (siehe oben) auch bei Kooperationen mit
Wirtschaftsunternehmen sehr aktiv.
6. FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
Die meisten Infrastrukturen des Bürgerschaftlichen Engagements sind auf eine Finanzierung aus
öffentlichen Kassen angewiesen. Meist sind die Finanzierungen nicht dauerhaft, sondern an
Modellprogramme gebunden, die nach einigen Jahren enden. Es gibt keine Übersicht über die
Summe, die die öffentliche Hand (Bund, Länder, Kommunen) in Infrastrukturen der Freiwilligenarbeit
investieren. Im Programm Mehrgenerationenhäuser beispielsweise werden 500 Einrichtungen mit je
40.000 Euro pro Jahr vom Bund gefördert. Andere Infrastrukturtypen bekommen insgesamt deutlich
weniger.
Für die nachhaltige Förderung von Freiwilligenagenturen sind vor allem die Kommunen (Städte und
Landkreise) zuständig. Teilweise finanzieren Wohlfahrtsverbände Freiwilligenangenturen in eigener
Trägerschaft. Zusätzliche dauerhafte Finanzierungsmöglichkeiten bestehen bei einzelnen
Infrastrukturtypen (Pflegstützpunkte zur Förderung der Freiwilligenarbeit im pflegerischen Bereich),
Beratungsstellen für pflegende Angehörige (zum Beispiel bei der Betreuung demenzerkrankter
Personen), Selbsthilfekontaktstellen (sofern es um gesundheitliche Selbsthilfegruppen geht) aus den
Pflegekassen. Zum Teil fließen auch Mittel aus der Städtebauförderung (Programm Soziale Stadt)
(www.sozialestadt.de) oder zur Entwicklung Ländlicher Räume (ILE, LEADER)
(www.landentwicklung.bayern.de, www.leaderplus.de) in den Aufbau von Infrastrukturen für
Freiwilligenarbeit.
Zu dieser Grundförderung kommen weitere Mittel, zum Beispiel aus einzelnen Dienstleistungen
(Corporate Volunteering) oder Stiftungen und Spenden. Durch die Finanzkrise sind diese Mittel
allerdings in vielen Einrichtung wieder gefährdet. Darüber hinaus gibt es Einnahmen aus Stiftungen.
Besonders aktiv sind die Robert-Bosch-Stiftung, der Generali Zukunfsfond, die Alfred Toepfer
Stiftung, die das Bürgerschaftliche Engagement als Kernaufgabe begreifen. Spenden und Sponsoring
spielen vor allem bei Einzelprojekten eine Rolle, für eine Dauerförderung sind sie bedeutungslos.
Der Anteil der Finanzierung aus öffentlichen Kassen liegt geschätzt bei drei Viertel der
Gesamteinnahmen der Infrastukturen des Bürgerschaftlichen Engagements. Viele Infrastrukturen des
Volunteering hoffen in den kommenden Jahren auf stärkere Einnahmen aus dem Wirtschaftsbereich,
zum Beispiel durch die Ausrichtung von Caring Days. In den letzten Jahren sind die Ausgaben der
öffentlichen Hand für das Bürgerschaftliche Engagement kontinuierlich gestiegen. Durch die derzeit
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notwendigen Sparmaßnahmen der öffentlichen Hand infolge der globalen Finanzkrise ist zu
befürchten, dass dieser Trend sich umkehrt.
7. REGULAR AND SYSTEMATIC RESEARCH
1999 wurde die Enquetekommission des Bundestages “Zukunft des Bürgerschaftlichen
Engagements” eingesetzt, die grundlegende Vorschläge für Engagementpolitik vorgelegt hat. Seit
1999 gibt es im fünfjährigen Abstand den Freiwillgensurvey (2004 und 2009) den die Bunderegierung
in Auftrag gibt. Hiermit ist ein verlässliches Datenmaterial für die Entwicklung des Bürgerschaftlichen
Engagements gegeben. 2009 wurden in dieser repräsentativen Untersuchung annähernd 20.000
Peronen befragt. Darüber hinaus hat die Bundesregierung 2009 beschlossen, in jeder
Legislaturperiode einen wissenschaftlichen Engagementbericht vorzulegen. Der erste
Engagementbericht wird den Schwerpunkt “Bürgerschaftliches Engagement von Unternehmen”
haben.
Es gibt einzelne Untersuchungen, die die Wirkung Bürgerschaftlichen Engagements abschätzen. Im
Auftrag des Bayerischen Ministeriums für Arbeit und Sozialordnung hat Katholische Hochschule
München beispielsweise in einer Kosten-Nutzen-Analyse
(http://www.wir-fuer-uns.de/landesnetzwerk/gutachten_gkwh.pdf) errechnet, dass einer
Investitionen von einem Euro in Infrastrukturen des Freiwilligensektors einen Return von sieben Euro
gegenübersteht.
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3.2 Dänemark
1. VOLUNTEERING INFRASTRUCTURE CONCEPT DEFINITION
In Denmark, there is a long tradition of forming associations and volunteering, and volunteering and
committing oneself in local matters, has been a part of Danish culture and tradition for centuries.
Ever since the adoption of Grundloven (the Danish Constitutional Act) in 1849, citizens have been
able to freely join organisations, unions and associations. The Constitutional Act guaranteed citizens’
rights, and associations were formed in almost every sphere of society: political party associations,
special interest organisations, trade unions, economic associations (savings banks, health insurance
societies, co-operatives), philanthropic associations, sports associations, religious associations, etc.
The voluntary sector, particularly within the social and health fields, has also played an important
role in the formation and development of the welfare state. Even so, the current infrastructure does
not have a long history – it was not until the early 1980’s that supporting initiatives, which may be
called “infrastructure”, were introduced.
In the general Danish debate, infrastructure is understood as the framework provided to support
volunteering: i.e. support centres, laws and regulations, public programmes and funding schemes etc.
2. VOLUNTEERING LANDSCAPE
Volunteering is a very important part of Danish culture and the way the society is structured. In this
regard, it would be more accurate to refer to it as the first sector, rather than the third sector, because the welfare society which is so central to Danish culture developed in close cooperation with,
and was inspired by, organisations from civil society. Civil society is found in all sectors and spheres
of Danish society.
The voluntary sector in Denmark is quite diverse, not only with regard to its objectives, but also in
terms of its structure; it embraces everything from small associations with a few members, almost no
money and their “premises” at the chairman’s home or office, to large, well-established, professional
organisations. The common feature, however, is the “voluntary” aspect. The following section provides definitions of the key terms volunteer, voluntary work, and voluntary organisation.
Volunteer
-
is a person who undertakes a voluntary activity meeting the criteria mentioned in the paragraph below.
Voluntary work
-
is the activity or act carried out by a volunteer. Voluntary work comprises of activities that
are:
o Voluntary or non-obligatory - i.e. undertaken freely without physical force, legal coercion or financial pressure, with no threats of financial or social sanctions (for instance, the threat of social security benefits being cut or exclusion from a social network) if you no longer wish to continue the work
o Unpaid - this does not, however, rule out reimbursement for expenses the volunteer
has incurred while carrying out the activities, such as travelling and telephone expenses, or that the person receives a symbolic amount for the voluntary work
19
o
o
o
Carried out for persons other than the volunteer’s own family and relatives - this distinguishes voluntary work from ordinary domestic activities and the informal care of
family members
For the benefit of people other than the volunteer and his or her family - this precludes participation in, for example, self-help groups or sports clubs from being considered as voluntary work
Formally organised – mostly in an association, but this need not be the case. Ordinary helpfulness or spontaneous acts are not voluntary work.
However, volunteering is not only a matter of getting people to work without pay but also a form of
development and/or satisfaction for the volunteers themselves. Volunteering is also a way to express
oneself, a platform to express opinions and interests and a way of obtaining qualifications in order to
improve employment prospects or to further one’s education.
Voluntary organisation
In Denmark ‘voluntary’ is often used to describe organisations that organise voluntary work. This is a
way to emphasise that these organisations differ from private companies, as well as from public organisations and institutions. Hence, a voluntary organisation is defined as:
-
-
-
-
An ‘institutional reality’ - i.e. having a legal status or an organisational permanency, which,
among other things, means that it has ongoing activities, formal objectives, structures and
procedures (e.g. written statutes), frequent meetings, an address or meeting place
Private and non-governmental- i.e. the organisation is not part of, or controlled by, the public
sector. This does not, however, prevent the organisation from undertaking work on behalf of
the public sector, or from receiving public funding
Operating on a non-profit basis - in this context it means that the organisation does not operate with a view to securing investors or individuals for a financial profit. If a profit is yielded, it is invested in the organisation and, therefore, used in compliance with the objectives of
the organization
Self-governing - i.e. an organisation must be in charge of its own affairs and not controlled by
any other organisation, be it public, commercial or voluntary
Non-compulsory with regards to membership or affiliation, participation and financial contributions
The most comprehensive data on volunteering in Denmark stems from the Danish study that formed
part of the Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project. According to the population survey
section of this study conducted in 2004, 35% of the Danish population perform voluntary work. Converted to population figure, it corresponds to 1.477 million people between the ages of 16 and 85.
However, a recent population survey has shown an increase in the number of volunteers. According
to the ‘Annual report’ from 2010 the percentage of Danes performing voluntary work has risen to 43
%, equivalent to 1.9 million Danes between the ages of 16 and 854. Although most volunteers still
are found within sport and culture, the social field has experienced a considerable increase. For several decades – with a few exceptions – volunteering has generally been highly acknowledged within
20
Danish society. Today, there is an increasing understanding of the necessity of volunteering and voluntary organisations, as important players in the Danish welfare society. There is also an awareness
of volunteering as a means of finding new solutions, especially to problems in social and health areas,
and to cope with integration problems and more existential problems, such as loneliness.
Although there is a difference between the image of volunteering and the realities in practice, volunteering is nevertheless acknowledged for its contribution to democratic and social values and its ability to empower and integrate people. In reality, volunteering often has to contend with very different
expectations, particularly within the social services field. Volunteering is considered to bring high
value, but mainly in terms of its utility to citizens or users, rather than for society or the public in
general. Municipalities recognise the positive effect volunteering has on, for example, elderly or underprivileged people, but do not appreciate to the same extent the values and virtues that volunteering brings to society, such as engagement, offering a spokesman’s ‘voice’, and democratic influence.
3. LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR VOLUNTEERING AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION
In Denmark, there is a long tradition of forming associations, and freedom of association is of such
great importance that there has never been any law that defines or regulates third sector organisations and associations. On the contrary, freedom of association is secured by §78 of Grundloven (the
Danish Constitution). There is no single act governing associations in Denmark, i.e. law that places
specific requirements on an association before it can be declared legal or eligible to receive publicsector funding, etc. Concerning self-governing institutions and funds, both organisational forms are
covered by the current legislation under the collective name ‘fund,’ i.e. Lov om fonde og visse
foreninger(the Danish Act on Foundations and Certain Associations) which from 1984 has also applied to self-governing institutions.
However, there are some laws and regulations that do affect the running of third sector organisations in different ways, e.g. there is no requirement for organisations and associations to register in
official state records but, if the organisation wants to receive money from the public, the organisation must have a CVR-nummer (a registration number used by all types of businesses) and a NemKonto, which is an account all citizens, companies and associations are obliged to have, and which
public authorities use for various financial transactions and pay-outs. Organisations or associations
employing paid staff or volunteers who will be in contact with children under the age of 15, are
obliged – although to date only those organisations receiving specific kinds of public funds – to get a
‘Børneattest’ (child certification) for the person concerned. Such a child certification is a specific type
of criminal record check which specifies whether a person has ever been convicted for any sexual
crimes in relation to children.
3.1 Laws, regulations and provisions on participation in volunteering and voluntary organizations
In Denmark there are two laws which aim to support volunteering and voluntary organisations on a
local level: Lov om Social Service §18 (Social Services Act) and Folkeoplysningsloven (Danish Act on
Popular Education). The Social Services Act imposes an obligation on local authorities to provide financial support for local voluntary work, and to cooperate with voluntary organisations. The objectives are to improve the interaction between voluntary social work and local authorities, to make
21
voluntary work more visible in local communities and to improve the conditions for voluntary social
work. In order to meet these goals, local authorities receive an annual financial compensation from
the central government, paid via block grants; in 2009, approximately 19 million EUR.
The Danish Act on Popular Education obliges local authorities to support public education with
grants, premises and other support initiatives. The Act provides for two main categories of grant
recipient:
1) adult education associations and other groups engaged in teaching and organising study groups or
lecture activities; 2) sports and youth associations and clubs. When local authorities are allocating
grants, they must earmark at least 5% of their total budget for innovation and development work.
There is no single public body responsible for volunteering in Denmark. Responsibility is split between different ministries according to the area of volunteering referred to: culture, sport, social and
health issues, etc. For example, the Danish Act on Popular Education is implemented by the Ministry
for Education and The Social Service Act is implemented by the Ministry of Social Affairs. The Ministry
of Culture is responsible for volunteering within the sport sector.
4. STRUCTURE OF THE NON-PROFIT SECTOR INVOLVED IN VOLUNTEERING
Unlike countries where the non-profit sector consists mainly of large, professional institutions and
organisations with only a fragment of voluntary work (for instance hospitals and universities) volunteering in Denmark is a very essential part of the non-profit sector. Volunteering is supported by a
number of umbrella organisations. Within sports, for example, you find two major organisations:
Dansk Idræts Forbund (Sports Federation of Denmark) and Danske Gymnastik og Idrætsforeninger
(Danish Gymnastics and Sports Association) – both with a wide variety of services to their members.
Within the social arena, Frivilligt Forum (Volunteer Forum) is a national umbrella organisation that
organises and supports voluntary social associations. Other national umbrella organisations typically
cover a specific area for youth: Dansk Ungdoms Fællesråd (The Danish Youth Council) and popular
education; Dansk Folkeoplysnings Samråd (Danish Adult Education Association). They offer information and counselling, project development, legal framework, policy work, etc.
In a more local context volunteering is supported by a number of Local Volunteer Centres (VCs). A VC
is a local platform for voluntary social work, with the purpose of assisting, inspiring and supporting
volunteering in the local community. There are approximately 50 VCs in Denmark, and although they
work to fulfil local needs, many have the same activities, structure and funding. Most VCs are independent, autonomous organisations, organised as self-governing institutions or associations with a
board, but there are also some VCs that are organised by local municipalities.
In general, VCs are very dependent on public funding and financial support from local and central
government – between 25% and 50% of their income comes from local authority grants and the rest
from central government grants. The VCs focus on at least one of the following six activities and,
more often several activities: 1) Facilitation of voluntary social work, 2) Self-help, 3) Starting up and
supervising new projects, 4) Servicing local associations, 5) Networking, 6) Citizen-directed activities.
22
Local volunteer centres are organised within the national association Frivilligcentre og Selvhjælp
Danmark (Volunteer Centres and Self-help Denmark) which provides advocacy for its members and
seeks to influence the conditions related to volunteering.
Organisations within the voluntary sector generally have a lot of experience in cooperating with each
other – on projects as well as in advocacy and special interest representation. They cooperate both
with national and international organisations, especially in Nordic and European countries, and often
with sister organisations or organisations within the same field.
5. OTHER STAKEHOLDERS
Public bodies which support volunteering Center for frivilligt socialt arbejde (The National Knowledge
& Development Centre of Volunteering) was established in 1992 to promote and support the development of voluntary social work in Denmark. The centre offers a range of services to support volunteers and voluntary organisations: consultancy, courses, development of organisations and networks,
models for co-operation between organisations and public authorities, surveys, documentation and
evaluation, projects, information and communication. Additional services are offered to the public
authorities and others co-operating with volunteer organisations, and the centre also provides information on issues related to the voluntary sector for the public and the press. The centre is a selfgoverning institution under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration, and employs approximately 20 people.
Frivilligrådet (The Volunteer Council) was set up by the Ministry of Welfare in 2008 – it replaced the
Council for Volunteer Social Action which was established in 2004. The Council gives advice to The
Ministry and Parliament on the role that voluntary organisations can play in addressing social problems. The Council also contributes to public debate on the role of volunteering, offering their perspective on the interaction between the public, private and the voluntary sector. The Council has
status as a government agency and is funded by the Ministry of Social Affairs.
Many companies support voluntary organisations – mostly through sponsorships and financial support. Few are directly involved in volunteering activities, although there is a growing tendency for
companies to formulate policies on volunteering, for example “corporate volunteering” or “employee volunteering”, through their general policy on Corporate Social Responsibility.
In October 2010 the Danish government published a national strategy for civil society. The government’s ambitions were to strengthen a more systematic involvement of civil society and voluntary
organisations in social work. The strategy focuses on four areas: 1) strengthen innovation and development in social work; 2) encourage active citizenship and a volunteer culture; 3) strengthen the
work of voluntary organisations; 4) strengthen the cooperation between municipalities, companies
and voluntary organizations.
Local governments also support local social associations. The cooperation is determined in the
above-mentioned Social Service Act, and since its implementation in 1998, the relationship has developed. In 2009, three out of four municipalities had formalised cooperation, e.g. a contract, a working forum, a volunteer council etc. Likewise, local authorities are obliged to cooperate with voluntary
organisations within the field of education, as stated in The Danish Act on Popular Education.
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6. FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
In Denmark both local and national funding are available, although funding is mostly provided
through government grants – partly as “basic grants”, and partly as “project grants”. Basic grants are
grants assigned to an organisation without being earmarked for a specific activity or project. Instead,
they are assigned on the basis of objective criteria such as purpose, turnover and self-collected
funds. Basic grants are assigned through the so-called Danish Pools and Lotto Funds, and more than
200 million EUR are distributed in favour of a wide variety of objectives in (civil) society, of which
voluntary social work receives about 18 million EUR. Project grants are awarded directly to specific
projects and activities.
A third type of grant is a so-called “block grant” which the state distributes to the municipalities in
order for them to support volunteering and voluntary social organisations on a local basis. In 2010,
the municipalities supported voluntary social work financially with 19 million EUR, but received 19.7
million EUR from the state via these block grants. Although there is a difference between municipalities, they are being criticised for not distributing the full-allocated grant to local volunteering. However, about one-third of the municipalities allocate more money to local volunteering than they receive in block grants.
7. REGULAR AND SYSTEMATIC RESEARCH
In 2006 Denmark concluded a three year long research project: Frivillighedsundersøgelsen which was
the Danish contribution to the Johns Hopkins University-Center for Civil Society Studies Comparative
Nonprofit Sector Project. The research was divided into three parts: 1) A population survey about
formal and informal volunteering and donations to voluntary organisations among 4,200 people aged
16-85; 2) A comprehensive mapping of all local and regional associations, self-governing institutions
and foundations in a representative region of Denmark, together with a survey among national voluntary organisations; 3) An estimation of the economic and labour market impact of the voluntary
sector, based on figures from the population survey, and on information and data from the Danish
National Account database. This research has given us, for the first time, unique and reliable data on
volunteering. In the national strategy for civil society mentioned above, the government recommended that a follow-up study should be completed – in 2012 a new research program will be implemented.
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3.3 England
1. VOLUNTEERING INFRASTRUCTURE CONCEPT DEFINITION
Definition of Infrastructure
Volunteering England’s 2004 strategy for volunteering infrastructure, Building on Success, included
the following definition of voluntary and community sector infrastructure: The physical facilities,
structures, systems, relationships, people, knowledge and skills that exist to support and develop,
coordinate, represent and promote front-line organisations thus enabling them to deliver their missions more effectively.
This work also defines infrastructure organisations as:
Voluntary organisations whose primary purpose is the provision of infrastructure functions (support
and development, coordination, representation and promotion) to front-line voluntary and community organisations.
Role of Infrastructure
A number of reviews have taken a strategic look at the role volunteering infrastructure should play in
England. In 2004, Volunteering England published Building on Success: a strategy for volunteering
infrastructure in England 2004-2014. The strategy recommended a number of steps be taken to
strengthen volunteering infrastructure, including the development of a single brand and national
quality assurance programme for local infrastructure bodies. The strategy also recommended the
adoption of a simpler set of core functions to define the role of volunteering infrastructure more
clearly and encourage a greater coherence in approach across England.
These core functions are now used by the Volunteer Centre network, with centres required to
demonstrate successful delivery of the functions in order to use the Volunteer Centre name and
branding. The core functions Volunteer Centres are expected to deliver are:
1. Brokerage;
2. Marketing volunteering;
3. Good practice development;
4. Developing volunteering opportunities;
5. Policy response and campaigning.
The strategy also expressed concern about the “unsustainable number” of local volunteering infrastructure bodies and called for a consolidation of local infrastructure made up of fewer organisations.
As the UK Government implements its plan to reduce the UK’s deficit by reducing public spending
commitments, funding for the voluntary sector is being reduced. In addition, funding programmes
are increasingly being designed to provide incentives for organisations to merge or collaborate in
order to reduce their costs. These funding changes are likely to create a shift in the number of infrastructure bodies as well as how they work.
25
Local infrastructure
Following a new funding programme, further change to volunteering and wider voluntary sector infrastructure is on the way. Announced in July 2011, the ‘Transforming Local Infrastructure’ programme requires local infrastructure organisations to merge or collaborate in order to secure funding. Whereas several infrastructure bodies in an area may have been funded by government before,
this programme will only fund one bid in each county, requiring organisations to merge or collaborate in order to bid.
This reflects a government aim to ‘rationalise and transform’ local infrastructure, bringing greater
cost effectiveness and reducing reliance on government funding. As the programme hasn’t been fully
launched, the implications of Transforming Local Infrastructure are not yet clear. However, given the
need for collaboration to secure funding, it is expected that the programme will lead to significant
changes to infrastructure in some areas.
National volunteering infrastructure
Changes to the central government funding available to support national volunteering and voluntary
sector infrastructure bodies are also changing the nature of infrastructure. Central government had
supported a number of national infrastructure organisations, including Volunteering England, over a
number of years through a ‘strategic partners’ programme. In February 2011, the Minister for Civil
Society announced that the strategic partner programme, which was providing core funding to 42
organisations would be abolished in 2014, with a smaller group of 12 organisations receiving tapered
funding until that point. Organisations were encouraged by government to merge or collaborate in
order to secure funding. A number of national charities have merged as a result and further changes
to the shape of national infrastructure are expected.
2. VOLUNTEERING LANDSCAPE
In England, the most authoritative ‘top-down’ definition of volunteering is found in the introduction
to the “refreshed” Compact on relations between Government and the Third Sector in England’. This
defines volunteering as:
“… an activity that involves spending unpaid time doing something that aims to benefit the environment or individuals or groups (other than or, in addition to close relatives)”
The introduction to the Compact goes on to state that “there are four principles that are fundamental to volunteering”. These are:
1. Choice: Volunteering must be a choice freely made by each individual.
2. Diversity: Volunteering should be open to all.
3. Mutual benefit: Both the volunteer and the organisation that the volunteer works with should
benefit from the relationship.
4. Recognition: The contribution of volunteers should be recognised.
26
Volunteering is a popular activity within the UK. The most up-to-date information is available from
the 2009-10 Citizenship Survey3, which was until 2011 published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (the survey was discontinued in 2011). This survey makes several important distinctions. Firstly, between formal volunteering (which takes place within a group, club or
organisation) and informal volunteering (which takes independently of such groups); and secondly,
between volunteering by an individual that takes place at least once a month (regular volunteering)
and that which takes place at least once a year.
In 2009-10, 25% of people took part in regular formal volunteering in England (at least once a month)
while 40% volunteered at least once a year (this figure includes the 25% mentioned above). Volunteering informally is even more popular: in the same period of time, 29% of people took part regularly and 54% of people did so at least once a year. The level of formal volunteering has remained relatively stable between 2001 and 2009-10, whereas the rate of informal volunteering has seen a steady
but significant decline more recently.
Data within England also shows that levels of volunteering are significantly linked to age: those aged
between 35 and 74 years are more likely to undertake regular formal volunteering than other age
groups, whereas people aged between 16 and 25 and between 65 and 74 year olds are the most
likely to undertake regular informal volunteering compared to other age groups. Gender is also important. Women are more likely to undertake both formal volunteering and informal volunteering
than men (42% compared to 39% for all formal volunteering).
Many other factors affect volunteering rates including socio-economic classification. Rates of volunteering are higher amongst those people in higher socio-economic classifications, in employment,
with higher levels of qualifications, and those people in groups considered not to be at risk of social
exclusion. The most popular fields of activity for volunteers in England include education (31% of
current formal volunteers), religion (24%), sports and exercise (22%) and health and disability (22%).
Most commonly, formal volunteers are involved in raising and handling money (65%) and organising
/ helping to run an event (50%). Many are also involved as trustees or committee members (28%).
3. LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR VOLUNTEERING AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION
Legal framework
Unlike workers or employees, volunteers in the UK have no special legal status. While many pieces of
legislation refer to, and affect volunteers, no single law creates a clear codified legal framework for
volunteering or the voluntary sector. A number of Acts of Parliament have, however, important implications for volunteering:
The Police Act 1997
The Police Act has two important implications for volunteering. The first is that the Act legislated for
the creation of the national Criminal Records Bureau and vetting system. A Criminal Record Bureau
(CRB) check, which details an individual’s criminal history, is required by an employee or volunteer
27
wanting to work with children or vulnerable adults. Concerns about CRB checks have been a prominent policy issue in the voluntary sector, due to concerns about the bureaucracy faced by volunteers
using the system. In October 2010, a government review of the system was announced, with legislation being brought forward to reduce the scope of the system.
The second implication for volunteering came in more detailed regulations set out by the Police Minister in 2002, which provide a rare example of a “volunteer” being formally defined in a statutory
instrument. According to the regulations, a “volunteer” means a person “engaged in an activity
which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses),
doing something which aims to benefit some third party other than or in addition to a close relative”.
This is the working definition of a volunteer used by most government departments and agencies as
a reference point for their work relating to volunteering.
National Minimum Wage Act 1998
The National Minimum Wage Act created, for the first time in the UK, a universal right for workers to
receive a centrally prescribed national minimum wage. In setting out the exclusions from the minimum wage, the Act created a new category of volunteer, a “voluntary worker”. The Act gives all
workers the right to receive a minimum wage, with a worker being defined as someone working under a contract. During the drafting of the Bill, concern was raised that given the nature of their activity, some volunteers on structured full-time programmes are in effect working under a contract, and
may have become entitled to the minimum wage.
To avoid this problem, a new “voluntary worker” legal status was created, to recognise specific circumstances in which someone may volunteer to work under a contract. In addition to out-of-pocket
expenses, voluntary workers are able to receive financial support to cover their subsistence costs and
be provided with free accommodation for the duration of their placement. They cannot however
receive any financial contribution towards accommodation costs. While the voluntary worker status
offers a sensible exception to the minimum wage for certain types of volunteer, the definition continues to create some confusion in the voluntary sector.
Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
Following the murders of two children by a school caretaker who had been subject to a CRB check,
the independent Bichard Inquiry recommended a more robust vetting system for those working with
children and vulnerable adults. The Act created a new organisation, the Independent Safeguarding
Authority, with responsibility for maintaining a register of those people deemed fit to work with
these groups. People wanting to volunteer or work with children or vulnerable adults will need to
register with the authority.
The proposed system has led to debate in the media, much of it highlighting concern that the tougher safeguarding regime will deter volunteering. In response to public concern, a review took place in
September 2009, which led to some elements of the scheme being relaxed. Following continued
anxiety, the programme was frozen by the new coalition government whilst the scheme is reviewed.
Other legislation and “volunteer rights” UK law offers no specific protection to volunteers as volunteers. Legal protections provided by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Data Protection
Act 1998 apply to volunteers in the same way as they do to any other member of the public who is
not protected by virtue of being an employee or a worker.
28
The absence of any specific legal protection or dedicated rights for volunteers has led to growing
concern among some volunteering groups. A number of high profile cases of volunteers alleging mistreatment by well-known national charities led to the establishment of a “Volunteer Rights Inquiry”
in England. Having explored a range of options including the creation of a Volunteering Ombudsman,
the Inquiry recommended stronger efforts within volunteer involving organisations to improve practice, with a later review to consider whether following these steps an independent arbiter is needed.
Policy framework
A wide range of government departments have long provided financial support to volunteering in a
number of ways, but since 1997 two departments have been tasked with co-ordinating government
voluntary sector policy. For much of the previous Labour administration, responsibility for the voluntary and community sector sat with the Home Office (the UK Interior Ministry). Support for the sector was provided by the Voluntary and Community Unit, which later became the Active Communities
Directorate.
In 2006, recognising the growing importance of the sector to government policy, and to acknowledge
the rise of social enterprise, the Office of the Third Sector was created. Based in the Cabinet Office,
the Office brought together the voluntary sector responsibilities of the Home Office and the social
enterprise responsibilities of the then Department for Trade and Industry. Headed by a Minister for
the Third Sector, the reformed structure created the UK’s first minister with sole responsibility for
voluntary sector issues, including volunteering. Following the election of a Conservative/Liberal
Democrat Coalition government in May 2010, responsibility for the third sector has remained in the
Cabinet Office. The Office of the Third Sector has been renamed the Office for Civil Society, but no
substantive changes made to its responsibilities.
The newly elected Prime Minister has publicly discouraged use of the term ‘third sector,’ preferring
instead ‘civil society’. The co-ordination role and leadership role of the Office for Civil Society does
not extend to all aspects of volunteering. The Department for Communities and Local Government
leads on civic participation and elements of the Big Society agenda relating to local government.
The Compact
Relations between the voluntary sector and government in England are governed by the Compact.
The development of a national agreement setting out clear mutual expectations and responsibilities
between sector and state was recommended by the Independent Commission on the Future of the
Voluntary Sector in England, chaired by Professor Nicholas Deakin. This led to the creation of what
became known as the Compact, which was launched in 1998 by Deputy Home Secretary Alun Michael MP.
The Compact is overseen by the “Compact Partnership” of two organisations – the Office for Civil
Society, representing the government and Compact Voice, representing the voluntary sector. The
Commission for the Compact, a body involved in Compact implementation was recently abolished as
part of the review of government agencies. A single national Compact is underpinned by Local Compacts, agreed by local authorities and representatives of the voluntary sector in particular areas of
England. The Compact is not intended to be merely a document, but a basis for building strong partnership working between government departments, agencies, local authorities and the voluntary
sector.
29
As well as encouraging more constructive relationships, the Compact can also be used by the voluntary sector to seek redress when organisations believe that government has not treated them fairly.
For example, the Compact requires government to provide at least twelve weeks for consultations
and to give fair warning to organisations of cuts in funding. A Compact advocacy service, operated by
the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), provides assistance to voluntary sector
bodies that believe the government has breached the Compact’s requirements in its dealings with
them.
4. STRUCTURE OF THE NON-PROFIT SECTOR INVOLVED IN VOLUNTEERING
National infrastructure
Volunteering England is the national infrastructure body dedicated to volunteering issues. A wider
group of infrastructure bodies represent volunteer-involving organisations, such as Community Matters which represents local community organisations and the National Association for Community
and Voluntary Action (NAVCA) which represents local Councils for Voluntary Service and other local
support bodies. NCVO is the lead infrastructure body for the voluntary sector as a whole.
Local infrastructure
At a local level, the national network of Volunteer Centres provides the mainstay of volunteering
support and development. There are around 300 Volunteer Centres across England. As well as advertising local volunteering opportunities, the centres provide support to local volunteer involving organisations. The network is a mixture of independent organisations and Volunteer Centres being run
as part of a larger organisation, such as a Council for Voluntary Service.
Volunteer-involving organisations
The UK has an extensive network of volunteer-involving organisations. Some of the largest organisations include heritage charity the National Trust, with 61,000 volunteers and health and social care
charity WRVS5 with 40,000 volunteers. Environmental volunteering charity British Trust for Conservation Volunteers6 (BTCV) involves 628,000 volunteers through its range of opportunities and its
community group network, while Community Service Volunteers (CSV) involves 160,000 through its
range of initiatives.
5. OTHER STAKEHOLDERS
Volunteering opportunities and programmes are run across all three sectors – public, private and
voluntary sector. There is a long tradition of volunteer involvement in the public sector, including in
the health and social care sector. The UK’s National Health Service took as its foundation the voluntary hospital movement. Volunteers engaged directly by government departments As well as providing a range of funding streams and support programmes for volunteering, government departments
and agencies directly support and involve volunteers in a wide range of roles.
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Volunteers are engaged across government. The Home Office funds the national Neighbourhood
Watch scheme, which involves people in local crime prevention activities. Natural England, the government’s conservation agency, involves around 2,200 as volunteer wardens on National Nature
Reserves. The criminal justice system involves large numbers of volunteers, with 30,000 people sitting as volunteer Magistrates and 14,000 people giving their time as Special Constables in the police
forces of England and Wales. In addition, thousands of volunteers play a role in ensuring the rights of
those detained are respected, by serving as Independent Custody Visitors, Prison Visitors or members of prison monitoring boards. The criminal justice system is a prime example of how reliant public services are on the continued involvement of volunteers.
Volunteer support for the emergency services is one of the most high profile areas. HM Coastguard
relies heavy on its volunteer Coastguard Rescue Service, and the UK’s lifeboat service is provided by
the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI), whose rescue boats are crewed entirely by volunteers,
although the government does not provide any financial support to the RNLI. The UK Mountain and
Cave Rescue Service is staffed entirely by 3,500 volunteers. The National Health Service has long involved volunteers, and health and social care remains one of the most popular areas in which people
give their time. While there is no overall figure for the number of volunteers in health, involvement is
significant; Birmingham University Hospital NHS Trust alone involves 1,400 volunteers across its hospital sites. In addition to direct involvement, numerous charities run schemes to engage volunteers in
the public sector. Health charity WRVS runs shops and activities in hospitals across England, while
Community Service Volunteers recruits full-time volunteers to work alongside care workers.
6. FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
NCVO’s 2010 UK Civil Society Almanac provides valuable information about how the voluntary and
community sector – which involves the greatest proportion of volunteers – is funded. The total income of the sector in 2007/08 was 35.5 billion, of which 12.8 billion comes from statutory sources
(grants, contracts and fees), although three-quarters of charities receive no government funding at
all. Income from individuals (donations, legacies, fees and fundraising) contributed 13.1 billion, making up the single most important funding stream for the voluntary sector as a whole.
While such figures provide useful information, they describe the whole voluntary and community
sector, which is broader than volunteering. Evidence on how volunteering itself is funded tends to be
more limited, although some information is available. Surveys undertaken by IVR show that volunteer management is under-funded within many organisations. Management Matters8, a survey of
volunteer managers in England carried out by IVR in 2008, found that 31% reported that their organisation did not have funding for supporting volunteers. Organisations with fewer volunteers are more
likely to report that they received no funding for supporting volunteers. When funding does exist, it
is frequently common for organisations to receive it from external grants which specify supporting
volunteers (24%).
All sectors within England have been affected by the Government’s attempts to address the public
deficit and reduce public spending. The reduction in the income of the voluntary and community
sector – the sector which involves the greatest proportion of volunteers – has been estimated to be
between 3.2 billion and 5.1 billion. It is quite possible that this will have a negative effect on volunteer management and the ability of organisations to effectively involve and support volunteers.
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7. REGULAR AND SYSTEMATIC RESEARCH
There is a strong body of research focusing on volunteering in England. Large-scale national surveys
of volunteering have been carried out by the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR) in partnership
with other organisations in 1981, 1991, 1997 and 2007. The 2007 national survey of volunteering,
Helping Out, explored volunteering and charitable giving, allowing the relationship between the two
to be examined. A further major source of statistical data on volunteering has been the government’s
Citizenship Surveys which began in 2001 and ran until 2011, taking place initially every other year
(2001, 2003, 2005, 2007) and then on a rolling, continual basis. This survey provided the primary
evidence on levels of volunteering in England.
In 2011, as part of the Government’s attempts to address the public deficit and reduce public spending, the Citizenship Survey was discontinued.
There is also a great deal of wider research exploring the different elements of volunteering, using
both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Topics of study can be highly diverse, but frequently
focus on volunteer management, barriers to volunteering and access, and impact and benefit to the
different stakeholders involved. Much of this research is hosted within IVR’s Evidence Bank
(www.ivr.org.uk), which contains over 200 freely-available reports and publications on volunteering.
There are also a wide range of tools available to organisations to measure the impact of volunteering, but two of the more popular include the Volunteering Impact Assessment Toolkit (VIAT) and the
Volunteer Investment and Value Audit (VIVA), both developed by IVR.
While a great deal of research has already been undertaken by IVR and other organisations, there are
nonetheless major gaps in the evidence base which require further exploration. In May 2011 IVR
hosted a roundtable discussion on the future of the volunteering research agenda, bringing together
key researchers in the field. Some of the key areas requiring future research are identified below:
1. Research examining how and why people engage in volunteering, taking into account a volunteer’s
life course and the wider social and environmental context within which their volunteering takes
place.
2. Much research on volunteering has tended to focus on its positive impact but there is less research
on the possible negative consequences of volunteering.
3. The existence of tensions and complexities around volunteers replacing paid staff, particularly in
the context of public service delivery.
4. A need for researchers to engage more critically with methodology, including the advantages and
disadvantages of different methods.
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3.4 Italien
1. VOLUNTEERING INFRASTRUCTURE CONCEPT DEFINITION
The infrastructure for volunteering is a set of policy measures and long term activities that sustain
the valorisation and practice of volunteering. The elements of infrastructure are:
• Legal framework
• Fiscal policy
• Volunteering support centres
• Stable channels for dialogue and representation of interests between the public institutions
and volunteering organisations
• Long term sustainable mechanisms for the promotion of and training for volunteering
• Data and standards
The mission of the volunteering infrastructure is to facilitate the civic engagement of citizens and
organisations and to enhance their impact.
2. VOLUNTEERING LANDSCAPE
Volunteering is defined in the Italian National Framework Law on Volunteering L. 266/91 published in
the Official Gazette of the Republic of Italy on 22nd August 1991, n.196. (Gazz. Uff., 22 agosto, n.
196). It defines volunteering as an “activity performed at a person’s own free will, through an organisation of which the volunteer is a member, with no aim for direct or indirect profit, exclusively for
solidarity reasons”. The same Law defines voluntary organisations, stating the principles that distinguish these from other types of not for profit organisations and associations, that may also involve
volunteers. It is universally recognised that volunteering is a gift of time with no financial reward
taken and an act of social responsibility for common good and for the benefit of others and the
community.
There is no regular standard census on the numbers and profiles of volunteers and their engagement. The last national survey by the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) was published in 2005
and based on 2003 census on Non-profit Institutions (NPIs) data. According to these data there were
21,021 voluntary organisations (VOs). According to a slightly more recent survey carried out by FIVOL
(Italian Foundation for Volunteering) in 2006 there were over 1 million volunteers active in the Italian
VOs1. These figures were based only on volunteers engaged in voluntary organisations as defined by
Law 266/91 and do not take into account volunteers active in other types of non-profit nongovernmental organisations or informal volunteering performed outside an organisational setting.
The most recent research on the extent of volunteering by the National Council of Economy and Labour (CNEL) provides an insight into available data.
The first Census of non-profit institutions (1999) has shown that volunteers constitute the most important part of the human capital (of non-profit institutions). Volunteers are active in more than 80%
of non-profit institutions and count a total of more than 3.2 million2 individuals.
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A more recent source, the Eighth Census of Industry and Services of 2011, tends to confirm these
structural characteristics. In 2001 volunteers active in non-profit institutions resulted in 3,315,327
units (+3% with respect to the previous census), which makes up 85% of the total of human resources. For the number of voluntary organisations there is no updated census available. On the basis of the data collection done by CSVs on the number of VOs registered in the regional registers, we
can estimate a total of 40,000+ voluntary organisations in Italy.
According to ISTAT 2003 data, the majority of Italian volunteers are adults aged 30 to 54 (41.1%),
with 22.1% of them aged under 29 and 36.8% aged 54 or over. Most Italian volunteers are in employment 52.2%, while 29.5% are retired and the remaining 18.3% are students, homemakers, unemployed or people looking for their first job. They are educated to upper secondary school or university level (57.2%). Male volunteers are slightly more in percentage (54.4% of the total are male
and 45.6% are female), although the number of women is increasing (in 1995 only 40.1% of volunteers were female).
The fields the majority of voluntary organisations are active in are health (28%) and social care
(27.8%), while growing sectors of activity are recreation (14.6%), culture (9.6%), and civil and environmental protection (4.4%). Recent regional surveys also show that civil protection and advocacy
are the fields registering the greatest increase in numbers of organisations and volunteers. Recent
Centro Studi Investimenti Sociali (Censis) – SPES research “The future of volunteering: The case of
Lazio” reports 26.2% of the total population as engaged in volunteering. In addition, it reports 14.1%
of interviewees as having a family member who volunteers.
These data shed a new light on the widespread opinion that volunteers in Italy are mostly aged or
middle aged and that the young generations are reluctant to engage in volunteering. It remains to be
studied how these data correlate with intense activities of the last decade for the promotion of volunteering among students and youth in general. Other Censis-SPES 2010 data as regards the profile
of volunteers are in line with the historical precedents and the general opinion: 77.4% of volunteers
are high-school or university educated and have on average 8 years of work experience. The vast
majority (73.6%) volunteer with an organisation, while the remaining 26.3% are informal volunteers.
Of volunteers engaged in organisations, 11% are active in 2 or more organisations. It is significant
that this percentage rises to 23.9% for volunteers educated at university level (or higher). It is also
interesting to note that the percentage of informal volunteers is at the very lowest among the young
(4.4% of the age group 18-29), it rises with age and reaches the peak of 30.7% among volunteers
aged 65 and above.
The same Censis-SPES 2010 research shows that 76% of volunteers are engaged on a regular weekly
basis throughout the year, while 24% volunteers occasionally.
Volunteering as an expression of solidarity and as an answer to the needs of the community is recognised and valued in Italy, especially because its roots reach back to the societal organization of medieval communes and its development is strongly linked with the social outreach and care dimension
of the Catholic Church. Censis-SPES research3, based on 550 residents in the Lazio region and 800
residents in other regions, analysed the perception of volunteering among the general public. It
emerged that volunteering is perceived as more active in the field of health (69.9%) and social care
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facilities (52.3%); as highlighted earlier, both are indeed some of the main fields of intervention of
volunteers, which shows that their presence is visible and largely perceived by the public. Less visible
is the presence of volunteers in the environment and advocacy fields.
When asked to identify the role of volunteers in society, over one third of respondents (34.4%) were
not able to pinpoint the role of volunteering in their locality. 4% of respondents stated that volunteering hasn’t got any relevant role in society. The majority of those who could identify a role for
volunteering stated that it favours relationships between those who can help/give and those in need
(27.4), it facilitates social redistribution of resources at different levels, or that it shows that helping
others is possible (23%), a dimension of active solidarity that the public appreciates. The function of
volunteering as a vehicle of active participation and problem resolution is indicated by almost 18% of
the respondents and about 13% underline that volunteering means openness to others and
strengthening of ever fading community links.
It emerges that volunteering is perceived as supplementary to the local welfare system, able to mobilise additional resources, directing them towards the demands not being answered, having a demonstrative function, not just being a voice, but showing practically that some things can get done. As to
what the expectations are of the public towards volunteering, from the Censis-SPES research it
comes to light that gratuity, humanity and direct relationships with the beneficiaries are the qualifying aspects for the majority of respondents. There is recognition of the great value of free service,
implying motivation in the mission, and the importance of great humanity in providing services to
people, as added value essential especially in some sectors. Services provided by volunteers are perceived as having a much higher relational closeness, and being effective in virtue of the quality of
relationships between beneficiary and volunteer.
Volunteering is perceived as being more effective and more valuable because it is seen as a spontaneous, highly motivated and ethically driven activity. More recent research4 carried out by a team at
the University of Florence on the perception of volunteering, shows that VOs and volunteers are
perceived as especially active in the resolution of local problems (particularly in the field of deprivation, need and marginalisation). This vision also affects how the relation between institutions and
volunteering is perceived; volunteering is seen as subordinate to institutions and not as a cooperating partner.
According to the research, the image of voluntary activity as conveyed by VOs and perceived by the
public is convergent: VOs describe their work using the words ‘action,’ ‘organisation’ and ‘commitment,’ and the respondents define the main features of volunteers and volunteering with the word
‘continuity’ and ‘commitment.’ Nevertheless, even though the organisations highlight ‘competence,’
‘methodology’ and ‘training’ to describe the work of volunteers, most respondents keep thinking that
voluntary action is guided by ‘instinct,’ ‘passion’ and ‘do-it-yourself.’
3. LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR VOLUNTEERING AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION
In Italy volunteering is regulated by the Framework Law on Volunteering, Law 266/91 (Legge
11/08/1991 Num. 266) which specifically defines and disciplines voluntary organisations and the
interaction between them and the public institutions. Several other laws determine the nature and
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the activities of other non-profit, non-governmental organisations that also engage volunteers, like
social promotion organisations, mostly in the sport and culture fields, or NGOs for international solidarity and development. The Law recognises the social value and the function of volunteering as
expression of participation, solidarity and pluralism. It provides the definition of voluntary activities
and organisations and of the relationships between voluntary organisations and public authorities.
It was adopted in 1991 after 10 years of discussions, draft proposals and awareness raising campaigns. Some of the main elements of the Law 266/91 are outlined below.
3.1 Definition of voluntary activity and organisations
The Republic of Italy recognises the social value and function of voluntary activities as an expression
of participation, solidarity and pluralism. It promotes its development by safeguarding its autonomy
and favours its original contribution towards social, civil and cultural aims defined by the State and
local authorities. The Law defines as voluntary activities those given in person, spontaneously and
freely, through an organisation of which the volunteer is a member, with no direct or indirect profit
aim, exclusively for solidarity reasons.
Voluntary activity cannot be paid in any way, not even by the beneficiary. Volunteers can only be
reimbursed by the voluntary organisation of which they are members for the direct expenses they
incurred, if deemed necessary for the activity itself, within limits previously determined by their voluntary organisations.
Being a volunteer is not compatible with any form of paid work within the same organisation. According to the Law 266/91, the services of voluntary organisations must be free of charge for target
users; their aim is solidarity towards target users or towards the common good; their yearly balance
is approved by the assembly of members and they are not for profit. Furthermore, they must have a
democratic internal structure: their representatives must be elected and not paid, their members
have rights and duties and there are criteria for admission and dismissal of members.
The insurance for volunteers is obligatory for injury and sickness related to the voluntary activity, and
for third party liability. When voluntary organisations provide services in collaboration with and
funded by local administrations or other public institutions, through a specific agreement, “convenzione”, the funders are obliged to reimburse the costs of the insurance for the volunteers involved.
The Law also strictly determines the essential characteristics of the voluntary organisation:
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not-for-profit, non-governmental, democratic; activities are for the benefit of others (not
members of the organisation) or the common good; commercial revenues must be marginal.
A significant change as regards the relationship between the State and local authorities, and in the
relationship between local authorities and citizens and their organisations, came into being in 2001
with the reform of the Constitution. In particular, the Art. 118 last clause affirms that the pursuit of
the general interest is not the exclusive competence of public institutions, but also pertains to the
active direct involvement of citizens. This change was initiated and later disseminated to the wider
public by a coalition of civil society organisations and academics led by the civic movement “Cittadinanzattiva” and is of paramount importance when it comes to understanding and promoting volunteering as a direct concrete act of responsibility towards the community.
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The Law regulates volunteering on the national level, but according to the principle of vertical subsidiarity, each Region – under whose responsibility the active engagement of citizens falls - draws up
specific Regional laws to regulate volunteering at regional level. It is the Law that explicitly accords to
Regions and autonomous Provinces, the right of instituting regional registers for voluntary organisations. As the Law states ‘Regions and autonomous provinces regulate the institution and maintenance of the general registers of voluntary organisations.’ Each Region organises its own register
independently and provides periodically to its revision and updating, making sure that the registered
organisations maintain the requirements necessary for registration. The format of such registers has
to abide to regional regulations that may differ for each region. The registration is a necessary requirement to access public funding, establish contract agreements with local authorities for the provision of services and for benefitting from fiscal rebates set out in the Law itself.
VOs listed in the registers, in fact, are exempt from payment of certain State taxes. National legislation also provides for fiscal deductions for donations; moreover in the year 2006, a State regulation
allowed citizens to assign 0.5% of their income tax to a VO of their choice.
The Law also set up a “National Observatory on Volunteering” to support, promote and develop volunteering through research, databases and specific training and projects. To develop the voluntary
activities in their Regions, many Regional authorities have set up “Regional Observatories on Volunteering” and Regional Conferences on Volunteering.
The Italian Framework Law on Volunteering 266/91 has set a high standard of precedent both for the
legislation on other components of the third sector in Italy and for later laws on volunteering in other
European countries. Some of the elements it contains are still – 20 years later and in a much more
developed discussion around the legal framework for volunteering – extremely valid. These include:
a specific mechanism for regulating services of public interest run by voluntary organisations in partnership with public authorities, the insurance of volunteers and the system of volunteer support
centres (CSV, Centri di Servizio per il Volontariato) governed directly by grass-roots voluntary organisations.
According to the Law, the public body responsible for the implementation of the Law and the primary
institutional reference point for volunteering is the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Directorate
General for Volunteering, Associations and Social Bodies. It was established as a unit at about the
same time the Law was passed. The National Observatory for Volunteering refers to the same unit
and is presided over by the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs. The Law 266/91 also provides for an
annual call run by this Ministry Unit for co-funded experimental projects of grass-roots voluntary
organisations. In 2010, for the first time, this same call for proposals included the provision that cofunding by VO can be provided by hours of voluntary engagement. The same DG also organises biennial National Conferences on Volunteering, participates in the controlling bodies of CSV and produces
a biennial national report on volunteering.
4. STRUCTURE OF THE NON-PROFIT SECTOR INVOLVED IN VOLUNTEERING
CSVnet, the Italian National Coordination of Volunteer Support Centres, unites 72 out of the 78 regional and provincial CSV active all over Italy. It provides representation on a national level, works for
37
the creation of shared standards, organises working groups and networking on different themes and
provides input for innovation and improving impact on the national level. In Italy there is a vast network of Volunteer Support Centres (CSVs). The Volunteer Support Centres were instituted by Law
266/91 and by the Ministerial Decree of 8th October 1997. They are at the service of voluntary organisations and, at the same time, managed by them, following the principle of volunteering autonomy that the Law aimed to affirm. They are active in every Italian region, except the autonomous
Province of Bolzano.
In abidance to the Law, CSVs are financed by foundations of banking origin. The Law actually states in
Article 15 that such foundations must include, in their articles of association, the donation of at least
one fifteenth of their yearly net revenues for the creation of special regional funds, aimed at creating
Volunteer Support Centres. Every special regional fund is controlled by a specific body (Comitato di
gestione) made up of representatives of the pertinent Region, of voluntary organisations of that region, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the foundations of banking origin providing funding
for that region and their association, and the local authorities of the Region. The controlling body
holds office for two years; it approves and monitors the programme of activities and the yearly balance sheets.
Of the 78 CSVs existing in Italy, 65 are active at provincial, 9 at regional and 4 are at interprovincial or
sub-provincial levels. The vast majority of CSVs are associations of associations, predominantly registered voluntary organisations of the territory of reference. At least 13,000 third sector organisations
are involved directly in the governance of the CSVs and 8,800 of these are local voluntary organisations.
CSVs’ functions and main roles are the following:
• promotion of volunteering (meetings and conferences, promotional campaigns, organisation of public events, shows, exhibitions, publications, activities with schools and specific target groups,etc.)
• advice and consultancy services for grass-roots voluntary organisations, including also support to groups and individuals during the originating phase of their organisation, matching
and tutoring of potential volunteers, direct support and mentoring of VOs in administration,
communication, grants management and fund-raising, networking, etc.
• training
• information, documentation and research
In 2007 CSVs carried out 67,045 consultancy activities, 18,541 information activities and 25,324 volunteer support activities.
CSVnet, National Coordination of Voluntary Support Centres - was officially established on 11 January
2003 with the aim of gathering, giving continuity to and strengthening the experience of the former
National Association of Support Centres, constituted in 1999. It is now also the main system of governance for the sustainability of CSVs in the future, and the most active platform for the exchange of
best practices, the transfer of innovation and training of both voluntary leaders and employed staff.
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The main national networks uniting large national federations of volunteer involving organisations,
ConVol and Forum del Terzo Settore, cooperate with CSVnet on all major training, development and
policy initiatives and projects.
ConVol (Conferenza Permanente Presidenti Associazioni e Federazioni Nazionali di Volontariato,
Permanent Conference of Presidents of National Associations and Federations of Volunteering) is an
association set up in 1991 with the support and the scientific cooperation of FIVOL, the Italian Foundation for Volunteering. Today it counts 14 voluntary organisations and national federations among
its members. It intends to link and coordinate its members to promote and facilitate legislation on
social issues and in particular for deprived people; to inform and raise awareness on social exclusion
and poverty issues; to ensure the quality of commitment of the volunteering sector for social justice,
fair distribution of goods, quality of life and the development of the common good, promote volunteering through national and European legislation.
Forum del Terzo Settore (Forum of the Third Sector) was officially constituted in 1997. It represents
over 100 national organisations (voluntary organisations, social cooperatives, international development organisations, fair-trade organisations). It aims at valuing activities and experiences carried out
by citizens for improving quality of life. Its main tasks are social and political representations to the
government and other institutions. One of its bodies is the Consulta del Volontariato – a league of
members of federations of voluntary organisations in the Forum.
Another important player for the development of volunteering in Southern, less developed regions,
of Italy is Fondazione per il Sud (Foundation for the South). It is a private entity founded in 2006
through an alliance between foundations of banking, third sector and volunteering origin, to promote social infrastructure, particularly in the regions of Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Apulia, Sardinia and Sicily - through cooperation and concerted actions with the diverse expressions of the territory, in the frame of subsidiarity and social responsibility.
There are also federations, coordination and volunteering representative bodies on specific issues.
Many umbrella organisations gather national and local VOs according to their specific field of activity,
acting as spokespersons for target groups and mediators with the national and local government, for
example:
• Federazione Italiana del Superamento del Handicap (FISH), Italian Federation for OvercomingDisability
• Federazione Italiana delle Associazioni di Volontariato in Oncologia (FAVO), Italian Federation of Voluntary Oncology Organisations
• Coordination La Gabbianella for International adoptions, child sponsorship and foster care.
National federations of major voluntary organisations:
• Associazione per l’Autogestione dei Servizi e la Solidarieta (AUSER), Associazione Nazionale Terza
Eta Attiva per la Solidarieta (ANTEAS) and Associazione Diritti degli Anziani (ADA) are VOs for the
promotion of active ageing, linked to the main trade unions and important promoters of senior volunteering
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• Associazione Nazionale Famiglie di Persone con Disabilita Intellettiva e/o Relazionale (ANFFAS),
National Association of Families of People with Intellectual or Relations Disabilities
• Associazione Volontari Italiani Sangue (AVIS), Italian Blood Donors Association
Civil Protection Volunteers are mainly organised in local voluntary organisations integrated into the
general civil protection system managed by the government. The Civil Protection Department registers about 2,500 organisations with over 1,300,000 volunteers, for emergency interventions in case
of natural disasters and for the protection of the environment. The major national federations of Civil
Protection Volunteers are Associazione Nazionale di Pubbliche Assistenze (ANPAS), National Association of Public Assistances and Misercordie d’Italia, National Confederation of the Fraternities of Mercy.
Two main national generalist networks have also remained active on the national level for the past
two decades: Centro Nazionale del Volontariato (CNV) National Volunteer Centre in Lucca and Movimento di Volontariato Italiano (MOVI).
Some of the largest federations of voluntary organisations are:
• AUSER, active in the sector mainstreaming active ageing and quality of life in third age, withover
1500 offices, 300,000 members and 40,000 volunteers;
• ANPAS, active in civil protection and health and social transport, with 864 organisations, 229 offices, 377,762 members, 86,630 volunteers, 986 youngsters in National Civic Service;
• Misercordie d’Italia, active mainly in patients’ transport, civil protection and social care, with 700
fraternities, counting 670,000 members, 100,000 of those actively involved in volunteering.
At the local level, voluntary organisations cooperate with volunteer support centres participating in
their governance as members of the assembly and elected board members and institutional representatives; at the same time they are also users of the services provided by the CSVs. On the national
level, the umbrella organisations ConVol, Forum of the Third Sector and Consulta del Volontariato,
cooperate through a protocol of intent with CSVnet, delimiting their reciprocal tasks, and belong to
the platform of national volunteer representatives, which agrees with the Association of Italian Association of Banking Foundations (ACRI) and CoGe (Controlling body of the Special Fund) about CSVs
core funding. They also manage political initiatives and actions together, such as the organisation of
the National Assembly of Italian Volunteering 2010, the drafting of the Manifesto of Volunteering for
Europe, the participation to the working group for the organisation of the EYV 2011 and, together
with Fondazione per il Sud, the Formazione Quadri Terzo Settore (FQTS) Training for Third Sector
Leaders Programme and the European Volunteer Measurement Project (EVMP).
5. OTHER STAKEHOLDERS
Most public service providers such as local administrations and local health authorities involve volunteers and voluntary organisations in the provision of services of public interest, notably in the social
care sector. In order to initiate the involvement of voluntary organisations, public entities have to
award contracts under competitive tenders or private negotiations. Voluntary organisations can only
40
be involved in the management of services that do not require complex management, such as social
promotion and support. Public entities can contract out service provision to voluntary organisations
on grounds different and separate from bidding to the private sector. Local authorities, and in particular the local municipalities, are the main partners with whom voluntary organisations stipulate contracts for the provision of services addressing local needs.
CSVs approach businesses to involve them in participating in specific cooperation projects such as
the programme “Volontariato e Impresa”. Proposals for collaboration involve the financing of projects planned by voluntary organisations to address the health and social care needs of the population or specific cultural and environmental issues; the ‘adoption’ of a voluntary organisation of the
territory through a financial investment with fiscal benefits in return; the occasional free provision of
technical know-how and competences, or of their facilities to voluntary organisations; and allowing
their staff to take one day paid leave of absence from work to engage in volunteering in an organisation (employee volunteering ). There are also different foundations stemming from large private and
public-private businesses that fund volunteering programmes and collaborate on projects with voluntary organisations.
The Law 6 August 2008 n. 1336, promotes employee volunteering in the public sector by granting
public employees with less than 5 years left to reach 40 years of service, in the years 2009, 2010 or
2011, the possibility of ceasing work before reaching retirement age and still receiving 50% of their
retribution. If these 5 years are spent volunteering for third sector organisations, upon presentation
of the required evidence, the retribution is instead increased to 70%. So far it has been scarcely used.
On the national level, the National Observatory on Volunteering is the main public body involved in
volunteering. It is comprised of 10 representatives of voluntary organisations and federations active
in at least six regions, two experts and three representatives from the major trade unions. It has the
following tasks: undertaking surveys on voluntary organisations; promoting research on volunteering
in Italy and abroad; providing every tool useful for volunteering promotion and development; approving experimental projects devised by officially registered voluntary organisations in cooperation
with local authorities to deal with social emergencies; offering support and advice on IT development
projects and databases; publishing a biennial report on how the national and regional norms are
implemented; supporting, together with the Regions, training initiatives; publishing an information
bulletin and promoting other initiatives to spread the news relating to voluntary activities; promoting
every three years a National Conference on Volunteering with the participation of all the institutional
and civil society stakeholders.
Other Ministries and central government bodies also interact, collaborate and promote volunteering
in their respective sectoral spheres of interest such as: the Department of Civil Protection, Office for
the National Civic Service, Ministries for Youth, Health, Justice, the Foreign Ministry, and others. The
inter-institutional table for collaboration on promotion and valorisation of volunteering established
for the EYV 2011 has provided new grounds for future common policy developments.
On the regional and local level, there exist numerous similar examples of dialogue and participation
between voluntary organisations and public authorities in different forms, such as: regional observatories, consultative bodies and sector or community based platforms. Schools are involved in the
promotion of volunteering mainly through the attribution of educational credits to experiences
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gained out of school in various fields, including volunteer experiences undertaken for voluntary organisations or other institutions. Before the students can obtain credits the organisation they volunteered with has to provide the school with a description of the experience itself.
Education is severely under-funded in Italy since, according to OECD data7, education expenditure
amounts to only 4.5% of the GDP, placing Italy at the penultimate position among OECD countries.
The latest National Plan by the Ministry of Education which included, among other objectives, the
promotion of volunteering in schools, dates back to 20078. This plan was due to last three years, and
it has not been renewed. Individual schools sometimes cooperate with voluntary organisations for
specific projects undertaken at school level especially on solidarity or environmental protection, but
that is left to the individual initiative and good-will of interested teachers and head teachers. Having
said that, CSVs consider the promotion of volunteering in schools of paramount importance. Therefore, at regional level they have signed agreements with the Regional Office for Education of their
region for the promotion of volunteering in schools. These agreements aim at the promotion, coordination and recognition of the activities that the CSVs carry out in the territory and establish a partnership for initiatives in civic education and promotion of youth volunteering. These widespread activities are generally known as the ‘school and volunteering’ programme.
There is not a subject on volunteering in schools, but the teaching of “Citizenship and Constitution”,
introduced in the national school system by Law n. 169/08, includes the promotion of solidarity and
volunteering. On the micro-territorial level, the interaction between VOs and public institutions is
direct, while at regional level the majority of initiatives for collaboration and development with public authorities for common objectives, such as the promotion of volunteering to youth or systems of
accreditation, are done through networks supported by CSVs through staff, secretariat, logistics and
support for content elaboration.
6. FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
Financial support for volunteering is provided by private and public funders, and from membership
fees and own revenue. Public funding is becoming the principal source of income for an increasingly
high number of organisations (25% in 1996 to 42% in 2000)10. The principal public funders for VOs
are local governments. European institution and national government funds are accessible to only a
small portion of bigger better structured VOs. Public funding can be project-based or operational. It
is increasingly based on co-financing projects mechanisms which puts small voluntary organisations
under great strain, as do delays in the allocation of funds and significant bureaucratic overhead. Public funding is accessed in two ways, either through contract agreements with voluntary organisations
for the provision of services or through grants conferred via public bidding for specific projects to
voluntary organisations. Core funding mechanisms are becoming less common.
One of the major problems for VOs is the lack of granted or low cost premises for institutional activities, making the payment of rent to private owners one of the most important burdens on the ordinary functioning in VOs. In the last two years, which brought significant cuts to the funds available to
local administrations, the access to funds and opportunities for VOs, especially in the social and educational sectors, has reduced dramatically. Other sources of funds for the voluntary sector are private donors, members’ fees and sales of goods and services. The Law sets out that private bank
42
foundations have to devolve 1/15 of their annual profits to finance Volunteer Support Centres
through the creation of a Special Fund, and this represents the core funding of CSVs, while revenues
from other sources – such as participation in European projects – constitute a very small percentage
of funding. For 2011 the system of CSVs counted on about 65 million EUR of core funding.
7. REGULAR AND SYSTEMATIC RESEARCH
Systematic and stable provision of data on volunteering does not exist. The body responsible for the
population surveys, the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), carried out the last census on nonprofit institutions in 2003, publishing its findings in 2005, and is due to carry out the next one in
2012. Various research institutions and CSVs themselves promote significant research and in the last
years particular attention was given to testing mechanisms for the evaluation of social impacts of
voluntary activities. So far, for the measurement of the economic impact of volunteering, the ILO
Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work has not been used, but promotion is being done
through the European Volunteer Measurement Project (EVMP) to make it become a stable institutional tool. It is the Italian Association of Banking Foundations, together with major national networks including CSVnet, that provided the initial grant for the preparatory phase of the European
Volunteer Measurement Project in 2011, through which the partners, the European Volunteer Centre
(CEV), the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civil Society Studies and SPES, organise the promotion
and initial training for the adoption of the ILO Manual by the national statistical offices. This could
provide a break-through in the provision of accurate and comparable data on the number of volunteers, their profile, the activities they perform and their economic contribution. Within the EVMP,
the Manual was translated into Italian, debates and small scale implementations were organised, a
constructive collaboration with ISTAT developed and wide stakeholder support for the implementation of the Manual was built. ISTAT is to implement the Manual in 2013.
The valorisation of hours of voluntary engagement was recognised as co-funding in a public body
supported project, namely within the yearly call for innovative projects of local voluntary organisations by the National Observatory for Volunteering, governed by the Italian Framework Law on Volunteering 266/1991. It is a call of the Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, responsible for
volunteering policy at the state level and also the European Year of Volunteering 2011 National Coordinating Body. It was introduced for the first time in 2010, in response to the demands of the National Observatory for Volunteering and further to the common political platform “Manifesto for
Volunteering in Europe”, where this is expressly claimed. Volunteering activities are not at cost, but
the estimated corresponding real cost may be valorised. The valorisation of the activities performed
by volunteers during a project must not exceed: for ordinary activities, the ceiling of the hourly rates
foreseen in the contracts of social cooperatives; for professional services, either highly qualified or
not foreseen in the contracts of social cooperatives, the ceiling of the specific hourly rates provided
by professional registers and from their charters of professional services. The activity performed by
volunteers – as defined in the project description and in the economic plan – is subject to valorisation only within the share of the 10% that the applicant organization has to provide.
43
3.5 Niederlande
1. VOLUNTEERING INFRASTRUCTURE CONCEPT DEFINITION
Dutch volunteer organisations and their volunteers are supported at three different levels: at the
local level by volunteer centres, at the provincial level by support centres, and at the national level by
MOVISIE, the Netherlands centre for social development. MOVISIE gathers and disseminates
knowledge relating to volunteer work on all three levels.
Apart from this institutional support, organisations often receive specific support from national umbrella organisations. For example, local soccer clubs receive support from the national soccer league
and local playground associations are sponsored by the national playground association. An organisation like Scouting has a council that determines its policy and regional support practices at the national level. Each region is in contact with the leaders and board members representing their area,
who organise meetings between regions and activities for the Scouting groups.
Volunteering Infrastructure in the Netherlands is commonly understood to mean organisations that
“provide infrastructure to promote, stimulate, and develop volunteering in general and, in
many cases locally, through volunteer support, management support and community support”
In the Netherlands the VOS model has been developed to help volunteer centres focus their activities
in three areas: support of individual volunteers (or volunteer support), support of organisations (or
management support) and support of society (or community support). Activities around volunteer
support include: contacting or matching individuals who want to volunteer with organisations that
need volunteer effort. Management support activities include consulting and supporting organisations involving volunteers, in order to make their activities more attractive and inviting for prospective volunteers. Finally, community support means bringing about the conditions and supporting the
initiatives that enhance (new forms of) volunteer effort or citizen involvement within the community
in a general sense.
In the Netherlands, the national volunteering infrastructure includes the six core functions that are
also used in research on a global level: brokerage, marketing volunteering, best practice development, developing volunteering opportunities, policy response and campaigning, and strategic development of volunteering. A seventh has been added in the last decade, which tackles practical logistical support of volunteer organisations.
In the last few years the focus of volunteer centres has shifted from individual brokerage towards a
greater focus on strategic development and the development of volunteering opportunities. This is in
response to the introduction of the Social Support Act, which stimulates local government to develop
policies that support volunteering. Volunteer centres have been re-establishing themselves within
the environment of the support structure. Recent budget cuts and diminishing arrangements for
people with limited opportunities have also created a changing target group: more people with disabilities and special needs, but also more (temporarily) unemployed people who are interested in
participating in volunteering.
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2. VOLUNTEERING LANDSCAPE
The Dutch Welfare Policy defines volunteering as “work done in any organised context that is carried
out without obligation and without pay for other people or the community, whereby the person doing the work is not dependent on it for his or her livelihood”. In general research, and also within the
field of volunteering, this definition is still the most widely used and accepted.
But is has been the subject of debate during the previous decade, because of the range of forms of
volunteering that do not fit this description. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport has also used
the term “voluntary effort” in its policies on volunteering, to include a much broader spectrum of
activities carried out by citizens in Dutch society.
Over the past decade, we have seen an increase in the variety of forms of encouragement to individuals to start volunteering. A range of different ‘third party’ partners, such as local governments,
schools and businesses have begun encouraging people to spend time volunteering. Within secondary schools, the concept of ‘service learning’ has been introduced. It is now obligatory for secondary
school students to do 30 hours of volunteering as part of their curriculum. Immigrants are encouraged to learn the Dutch language by participating in volunteering organisations. People who are
(temporarily) unemployed are encouraged to volunteer, to meet other people and participate in
society. Meanwhile, businesses encourage their employees to spend some hours volunteering to
develop communication and leadership skills. These practices often do not fit the definition of volunteering, as they entail either some form of obligation or non-monetary remuneration, but are generally accepted as “voluntary effort” in the public debate.
There are around 5.6 million volunteers (45% of the total population) in the Netherlands. These volunteers put in an average amount of 3.7 volunteer hours a week, as indicated by longitudinal surveys
conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).
In 2010, the largest proportion of volunteers was found in the 35-44 age group. Because of the ageing population in the Netherlands, we see a growing percentage of elderly people engaged in volunteering. Age and education are two of the biggest indicators as to who is active as a volunteer. Elderly people, people with higher levels of education, and people with paid jobs do more volunteering.
However, the contribution of young people is growing. The aforementioned introduction of service
learning in high schools in 2007 has contributed to the highest level of volunteering amongst young
people seen in years, up to 45% of young people between the ages of 15-18 in 2010 (CBS).
A desire to do good, preparation for future employment, a pastime or a means of integrating into
Dutch society, caring for people or sharing enthusiasm for hobbies or passions are the motives people mention for becoming volunteers. The Netherlands counts numerous volunteer organisations,
active in the fields of sport, care, welfare, culture, or nature, whether focussing on local issues or on
the national level. Out of the total of 5.6 million volunteers in the Netherlands, the highest proportion (around 12%) is involved in sports. The second biggest volunteer sector is the cultural sector,
with the care sector in third place.
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3. LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR VOLUNTEERING AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION
There is no national charter on the rights and responsibilities of volunteers or on the concept of volunteering in the Netherlands. However, since the 2007 introduction of the Social Support Act, local
governments have been obliged to formulate policies on the support of volunteering. The Dutch Association for Volunteer Effort (NOV) is lobbying for one charter which would combine all the different
regulations concerning volunteers.
Although there is no law on volunteering in the Netherlands, there is a lot of prudency at the national
level with regards to the position of volunteers. In many situations, the same regulations that apply
to paid staff are also applicable to volunteers. Volunteers and volunteer organisations experience
many problems navigating through the maze of laws and regulations, since there are no specific laws
in the Netherlands that provide insurance or take on responsibility for accidents involving volunteers.
The Netherlands does have an extensive social insurance system. In general, when something happens to you, you are insured. But as this usually works through paid employment, volunteers are not
covered by this social insurance. However, there are several regulations within other legal frameworks that can sometimes apply to volunteer organisations, such as the Occupational Health and
Safety legislation and tax legislation.
Also, a major discussion is still underway in the Netherlands about who is responsible when something happens to a volunteer or when a third party suffers damage as a result of volunteer activities.
Should the volunteer (insurance) pay for this or should the organisation (insurance) pay? One recent
development in this area was a provision made available by the national association for municipal
governments (Vereniging Nederlandse Gemeenten, VNG), in cooperation with an insurance company. Since 2012, all local authorities have arranged insurance, using this provision or other means, as a
fall back guarantee for their volunteering population.
All these points, apart from health insurance, are usually mentioned in a volunteer contract between
the individual volunteer and the volunteering organisation. That is what MOVISIE recommends to
volunteer organisations. However, it is not mandatory for organisations to have contracts with their
volunteers. Many organisations do not offer contracts, but they do have volunteer policies in which
these provisions are mentioned and arranged.
MOVISIE and NOV have placed the problems concerning rules and regulations that volunteer organisations face on the government’s agenda. As a result, several projects have started that are designed
to reduce the burden of rules placed on volunteer work. For example, MOVISIE developed, in collaboration with a municipality, a volunteers’ test for municipal policy. This ultimately resulted in a publication containing suggestions for local authorities for reducing red tape for volunteers. As well as
this, there is support for municipalities in mapping out and resolving the bottlenecks caused by local
regulations. Recently the government has announced the possibility of volunteers working with minors to receive a free criminal screening check. Regulations around volunteers working with vulnerable groups are becoming more common.
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4. STRUCTURE OF THE NON-PROFIT SECTOR INVOLVED IN VOLUNTEERING
National infrastructure
There are two national institutions for the support of volunteering in the Netherlands.
One is the Association of Dutch Voluntary Effort Organisations (NOV). NOV is the leading organisation
within the voluntary effort sector of the Netherlands. NOV has 350 member organisations that work
with or for volunteers. NOV is unique because it is the only organisation in the Netherlands geared to
strengthening voluntary work, as such. It has two kinds of members: organisations that perform voluntary work and those that fulfil a supporting or coordinating role. The member organisations determine the Association’s future policies, and they are invited to make maximum use of the networking role of the NOV.
The second institution is MOVISIE, the Netherlands centre for social development. MOVISIE is the
knowledge and consultancy centre for volunteer work in the Netherlands. Volunteers need good
volunteer policies, education and training, acknowledgement and recognition and a serious relationship with (social care) professionals. Volunteer organisations, in turn, want to have appropriate selfmanagement structures, methods to recruit and retain volunteers, less pressure from legislation and
a positive image for volunteer effort.
MOVISIE collects and disseminates best practice, develops new methodologies, and provides advice,
training, and support. One of the instruments used to collect and share working methods used in
each of these domains is a database, which aims to promote evidence-based practice in the social
and community work field. Projects are designed and implemented around various issues, often in
collaboration with voluntary organisations or their infrastructure. These pilot projects enable MOVISIE to test new types of volunteer work. In other projects there is support for the Dutch infrastructure and volunteer organisations on various subjects. On a national level, MOVISIE provides support
to a variety of target groups, such as support services and volunteer work databases. They help to
distribute information and knowledge to the level where these belong: local level voluntary organisations and initiatives in the field of volunteer effort.
Social Support Act embeds the support on policy level
The Directorate for Social Policy of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport is the main public body
responsible for volunteering. Other departments also have policies concerning volunteers within
their specific sector or area. An important development has been the introduction of the Social Support Act (Wet Maatschappelijke Ondersteuning, Wmo) in 2007. With this Act, it has become mandatory for Dutch municipalities to support volunteer work. The Dutch government commissioned the
development of a manual for municipalities, to help them organise this support efficiently. This manual was compiled by the most important parties in the field of volunteer work: municipalities, volunteer organisations, local and regional support organisations and other parties concerned.
It describes five core functions:
1. Translation: Municipalities must translate new (and existing) social developments into a vision and a concrete policy.
47
2. Merging and matching: To interactively formulate this policy, it is essential to create a network or platform where different social parties can participate in the discussion. Connecting
different parties is also a way to address social themes and establish collaboration. Through
the mediation of a broker, parties can establish collaborations. Also,volunteers and students
in social practical training programmes can be matched with volunteer work.
3. Strengthening: Optimal and efficient support and strengthening of volunteers and volunteer
organisations requires a support structure which includes the practical training broker.
4. Spreading: Volunteer work cannot exist without the dedicated efforts of volunteers. Good
practices can inspire (new) volunteers and possibly lead to more volunteers and volunteer
work. In this light, it is crucial to highlight a broad range of volunteer work. Another subject
that should also be thoroughly addressed is the appreciation of volunteers’ effort.
5. Anchoring: All best practices, successes, expertise and experiences should be recorded to ensure that a solid execution of volunteer work is increasingly guaranteed. A guarantee should
always come with an evaluation to make sure that new experiences lead to innovative methods that are able to answer to and translate (new) social developments. Thus we are back at
the start of the cycle: translation. If we keep following this cycle, volunteer work will keep
growing and be better equipped to respond to social developments and themes
Local infrastructure
Most of the implementation of these core functions is being carried out by local volunteer centres.
There are about 250-300 local volunteer centres, which support volunteer organisations and individual volunteers with services such as mediation, information, advice, promotion, fostering expertise,
promoting special interests and providing facilities. In general, these volunteer centres are mainly
financed and supported by the local government. Relatively large volunteer centres can have up to
twenty paid staff. Sometimes centres are small, run by a few volunteers or situated within the municipal structure.
The majority of local volunteer centres are members of NOV. In 2008, NOV launched a national network of volunteer centres, NOVI. The goals of this network are to exchange knowledge, and to formulate a common vision of volunteering and the volunteering infrastructure in the Netherlands. Volunteer centres also indicated the need to create a common identity and image to better profile volunteer centres in the Netherlands. The network is made up of representatives of regional or thematic
networks that are formed by local volunteer centres. Four times a year, they get together to discuss
relevant issues, like new developments, quality improvement of volunteering and the improvement
of the image of volunteering in the Netherlands.
In the Netherlands, there are also provincial support centres. These centres, so-called Centra voor
Maatschappelijke Ondersteuning (CMO), or centres for community support, advise local government
and their local policy makers on exemplary municipalities to be found in their region. Their
knowledge is gained through research, by compiling best practices of voluntary work in their regions.
48
Volunteer-involving organisations
The biggest volunteer organisations, like the Red Cross, Scouting, NOC*NSF (Olympic Sports and National Sports Federation), Zonnebloem (providing holidays or companionship for the sick and elderly),
Humanitas (humanist provider of a wide variety of services), have national bureaus with paid staff
and regional and local branches. Most of the bigger national volunteer organisations are a member
of NOV, in order to have their common interests represented. Cooperation or communication between local branches of these national organisations and volunteer centres at the local level differs,
according to the needs of local branches and the support provided at a regional level within their
own organisations.
5. OTHER STAKEHOLDERS
In the Netherlands, as well as volunteer organisations, there are many public service providers that
involve volunteers in the execution of their work. Volunteers are active in public services like the
police, the coast guard and the fire brigade. In the cultural sector volunteers create broadcasting
shows on both (local) television and radio, they are active in the cultural heritage sector, in museums, festivals and theatres shows. People are also active in care and welfare institutions that involve
volunteers in the care of elderly and physically, mentally or psychologically challenged people, to
organise daily activities or food distribution within the institution or in local communities. Schools
involve parents in reading groups and other extracurricular activities.
One important development on the topic of the involvement of other “third parties” in volunteering
is the growing need to make use of volunteering as a reaction to reduced financial resources. Public
authorities provide civil society organisations in the Netherlands with fewer structural funds and
force them to work on a project basis. These (sometimes drastic) government budget reductions
force NGOs in the Netherlands to seek new or additional sources of financial support and new partners to cooperate with.
Business-Engagement: One of these sources is the business sector. Businesses are also a source of
new skills, professional advice on sales and marketing, manpower, IT facilities and materials. But
relationships with businesses do not have to be one-sided: NGOs have something to offer in return.
The unique selling point of NGOs is employee engagement: the authentic commitment of their
members and volunteers to the goals and activities of their organisations, without receiving material
or financial rewards in return. Businesses can learn from their experience to get people committed to
their goals. Partnerships with NGOs help to enhance company pride, develop skills and knowledge
and discover new market opportunities. The business case for employee engagement is gaining
ground. Experience and studies from several companies show that employee engagement supports
business goals, especially when employee engagement programs are linked to Human Resource
Management goals, such as the development of professional skills and competences. Studies show
that employees who do volunteer work are happier, healthier, have a higher productivity rate and
stay on longer with their companies.
Service Learning: In 2007 the Dutch government introduced a law to implement service-learning into
the Dutch secondary school curriculum and this has been in effect since 2011. This service-learning
49
programme aims to help young people to develop the (social) skills necessary to actively participate
in society. Every pupil engages in (at least) 30 hours of community service. The pupils take part in the
activities of the non-profit sector. The number of 30 hours is the result of a long discussion on the
effect of these activities on young people. The initial proposal was a period of three months of community service. After negotiations the government decided on 30 hours; one day a week for a period
of three months. The hours are obligatory, but unpaid. Most of the money made available for the
introduction of service-learning goes directly to the schools. Schools are responsible for implementing it into their curriculum. They are also responsible for the preparation, execution and evaluation of
the community service hours for every student. To encourage cooperation between secondary
schools and volunteer organisations, the national government has financed the role of a ‘matchmaker’ for a period of three years in every municipality in the Netherlands. This is often a role executed
by the local volunteer centre. This role is to raise awareness within volunteer organisations of the
benefits of involving young people in their organisation through service learning projects. Matchmakers train and support volunteer organizations to create or adapt their activities to best fit the
competencies and abilities of high school students. They also stimulate cooperation between the
different secondary schools within the city or region and set up digital databases that contain the
available volunteer positions, to help students find available positions.
6. FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
Most of the budget for volunteering in the Netherlands is spent on the support of volunteers and
their organisations, both at the national and the local level. Volunteer organisations themselves often have very limited budgets for their activities. They sometimes receive financial support from the
(local) government, on a structural basis or on a project basis, but due to the economic crisis and
budget cuts, both at local and national levels, these amounts are diminishing. More often than not,
volunteer organisations depend on contributions from their members or gifts from donors. However,
volunteer organisations often have a variety of ways to arrange extra budgets for their activities.
They organise fundraising collections, small lotteries or arrange sponsorship deals with local businesses.
There are also various funding institutions that provide money for projects to volunteer organisations. On a national level, there are big national foundations, such as the “Oranje Fonds” and the VSB
Fonds. These foundations support cultural activities or manage government-initiated programmes.
Such programmes are usually developed to subsidise innovative initiatives. There are also national
funding institutions that provide money for activities in their own sectors, such as the Fonds voor
Cultuurparticipatie, subsidising cultural activities or activities for special target groups; a special fund
for elderly people (Ouderenfonds) or for handicapped people (Fonds voor Verstandelijk Gehandicapten). Large banks, such as the Rabobank and ABN AMRO have foundations that often provide funding
for special projects as well, from a corporate social responsibility point of view. A registry of all the
funding institutions (about 650) is published in paper and digital form, “Fondsenboek” and Fondsendisk”. Organisations that are looking for funding opportunities use these to find the most suitable
source of funding for new projects and initiatives. There is also a special website with an overview of
all the different institutions, www.fondsen.org.
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7. REGULAR AND SYSTEMATIC RESEARCH
There are three longitudinal surveys on volunteering conducted in the Netherlands, one of which is
executed by the Central Bureau for Statistics. Questions on volunteering engagement are also included in more general large surveys on household situations and economic status. The results related to
volunteering are published every two years, the latest one being in September 2011, based on data
from 2010. The Dutch Social and Cultural Planning Offices have published five different publications
on volunteering in the last ten years, including a vision on the future development of volunteering
until 2015. Separate longitudinal research called Giving in the Netherlands (“Geven in Nederland”),
conducted by the VU University of Amsterdam (Vrije Universteit Amsterdam) shows how money and
time is spent in the non-profit sector in the Netherlands. It focuses on the way individuals, households, grant-giving institutions and businesses spend money and time on philanthropy; on organisations and initiatives which work in the charity sector. 4.7 billion euro was donated to this sector in
2009.
Several universities and the larger research institutions in the Netherlands research specific topics or
themes linked to volunteering. The Erasmus University in Rotterdam has a department on Strategic
Philanthropy that focuses more on the strategic management choices for business and non-profit
organisations, in terms of giving time towards volunteering. Other universities and research institutions focus on the motivation of volunteers (the University of Leiden), the various ways that people
engage within society and the changing engagement of active citizens within society (the University
of Amsterdam, UVA) and the cooperation between paid staff and volunteers within non-profit organisations (Verwey Jonker Instituut).
Estimated economic value of volunteering: The Erasmus Centre for Strategic Philanthropy calculated
the total economic value of volunteers in the Netherlands. According to their research, the total
amount of hours volunteers put in is equal to 560,000 full time jobs. The sum of volunteer hours
equals a financial value of between 5 and 20 billion euro. This quite large difference is due to the
difficulty in determining the hourly wage that one hour of volunteering would “cost”. Opponents
argue that calculating the amount in this way is not correct, because a lot of voluntary work would
not be done if society had to pay for it. Furthermore, volunteers themselves count their hours differently then their paid working hours and treat inefficiency as par for the course. Therefore, the actual
economic value of all volunteers in the Netherlands is difficult to agree upon. But all parties agree
that the value of volunteering, both economic and social, is extremely important for Dutch society as
a whole.
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4. Literatur
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Deutschland 1999 – 2004. Zugriff unter:
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